Death of GP who served for 37 years in Halifax

A GP who spent 37 years helping patients in Halifax has died.

Dr Jack Rust, who retired from his practice at the Laura Mitchell Clinic in 1987, died aged 89.

After qualifying as a doctor from Leeds University in 1947 and a two-year stint with the Royal Army Medical Corps at Catterick until 1950, he returned to Halifax where he had been educated.

His mother had sent him to board at Crossley and Porter Grammar School so she could continue working as a midwife in Pudsey after his father died.

He was head boy at the school and played in the rugby and cricket teams.

He became a junior partner at the Hornby and Pollard practice in Rhodes Street in 1950, which later became Hornby and Rust when Dr Pollard retired.

In 1965 the practice moved into the Laura Mitchell Clinic where it remained until Dr Rust retired in 1987, when it moved to Plane Trees Surgery, Sandbeds Road, Pellon.

His son Michael said: “During his time as a GP he saw the introduction of the health service.

“My recollection is of him trying to give the sort of service that he had seen his mother give, as a midwife – a 24-hour service.

“I remember he would work one evening on, one evening off, one weekend on, one weekend off. Patients used to queue out of the surgery and he wouldn’t get home until 8.30pm or 9pm.

“That all changed when the appointment system came in in 1965.”

Dr Rust was also a keen sportsman. He swam regularly until he was about 80 and kept fit at the Olympic Health Club in Halifax and then Queen’s Sports Club, where he played squash from the age of 45 to 80.

Dr Rust developed a degenerative brain disease, supranuclear palsy, and died last week at Ghyll Royd Nursing Home in Guiseley.

As well as Michael, he leaves his wife Jean, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

He was also father to the late David Rust.

Dr Rust’s funeral takes place at St John’s Church in Warley, on Tuesday at 1pm. A book of condolence will be opened at Plane Trees Surgery.