BAGCHI: Dr Saral
Died 17 November 2007, aged 84
The Wakefield Express carried the following report on 28 November 2007, under the heading ‘Respected doctor dies after illness’: A MUCH-loved family man and well-respected doctor, who became an honorary Yorkshireman after moving from India in the 1950s, has died aged 84. Family, friends and past colleagues of Dr Saral Bagchi, formerly of Carr Lane, Sandal, attended his funeral service at St Peter and St Paul’s Church. Dr Bagchi moved to the UK from Bengal in 1958 to study at Edinburgh University. He swiftly settled into the British way of life, lodging with two women who fed him fish and chips for tea every night – although he never got used to the Scottish weather.
His career brought him to Wakefield in 1960 to work at Pinderfields Hospital and it was there, in a corridor outside an administrator’s office, where he met staff nurse Angela Smith. She was swept off her feet and the couple married in 1964. They went on to have three children, Andrew, Robin and Tara. After a few years working as a registrar at Clayton Hospital and then Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Dr Bagchi found his true vocation as a general practitioner, first in Wakefield and then in Darton and Mapplewell, near Barnsley. He retired in 1998 when for years he would make the daily bus trip into Wakefield.
Dr Bagchi’s son Robin said: “Being a doctor was the most important thing in his life but he was a wonderful father. He was very loving and affectionate and when Andrew and I were children at QEGS, it would be quite embarrassing to be picked up from school by a man who would give you a big kiss in front of all of your friends. “The funny thing about my dad was that he was a very proud Indian and Bengali but he was also a very proud Yorkshireman. He loved Wakefield and was very much the Yorkshire convert. He thought of Wakefield as his home and only went back to India three times in 50 years.” Dr Bagchi passed away after a year-long illness at Wakefield Hospice on November 17.