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Name a new locomotive after Dr Bill Frankland

Richard Stubbs
May 29, 2020

LNER emailed its registered customers to advertise that it was seeking nominations for the naming some of its fleet of new Azuma engines.

I'm suggesting that people could join me in nominating 'Dr Bill Frankland', after Dr William (Bill) Frankland MBE, 1912-2020, pioneering Allergy Specialist and originator of pollen counts and modern allergy medicine, known as ' The Grandfather of Allergy, and FEPOW.

LNER are running the train naming as an open process where anyone can make nominations via its web-based form (see: )-  it is open until one minute to midnight on Monday 1st June 2020.

It seems likely that the more forms submitted for a particular name, the more weight the selection panel might give to it, alongside consideration of people's individual supporting reasons, but the panel is not bound by the numbers of votes.  So it would be good if lots of people could fill in the web form nominating Bill before the closing deadline.

I have checked with Bill's family to see if they would be supportive of the idea of an Azuma locomotive being named after him and they are approving, preferring 'Dr Bill Frankland' as the name to be suggesting.

My understanding of Bill's philosophy towards the Japanese People of my generation is that he was forward looking: considering his wartime experiences, the Anglo-Japanese collaboration around the design and manufacture of the new trains seems in keeping with this.  Also, he is said to have had a love of trains and, following his return visit to Japan, he marvel at the Bullet Train (from which the Azuma train is derived).  This fits wonderfully alongside his international recognition as originator of our present-day understanding of allergy science and his life-long contribution to medicine as reasons to be nominating him and such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate his life.

So, get voting everyone!  The web link is:

You can revisit some of the BBC radio programmes that have featured him in recent years on the BBC website, as follows:

The Reunion: 'Far East Prisoners of War',

Desert Island Disks, 'Dr Bill Frankland',

HARDtalk: 'Dr William Frankland, Allergist and WW2 Prisoner of War',

The Last Word: 'Dr Bill Frankland MBE, John Tydeman OBE, The Marquess of Bath, Honor Blackman',

There's more on Bill's remarkable life story in the numerous obituaries available on-line, such as the tribute by the BSACI (  ). and in the press, e.g. The Guardian (  )