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Dr Sydney Harold Smith was born c.1871 in Scotland, one of a family of doctors, with family connections in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Manchester; his brother was also a doctor.
Dr Smith qualified in Edinburgh and practised in Scotland before moving to York. In 1906 he married Isabella Robertson. Isabella died in 1940 at the Purey Cust Nursing Home in York and in 1921 Dr Smith married Eileen Eva Douglas, a nurse at York City Infirmary (later St Mary's Hospital). The couple had two children together.
In York, Dr Smith worked as a general practitioner as well as serving as Medical Officer to York Poor Law Union, Medical Officer to the York City Infirmary and as a military medical officer.
He was a leading authority in Yorkshire in the use of ultra-violet light treatment for skin ailments. He built a special department for such treatment at York City Infirmary, and he also had facilities at his home and surgery at 1 St Peter’s Grove, York.
Dr Smith died c.1933. After his death, his widow trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London as a physiotherapist, and she set up a clinic in York. His daughter, Eileen, also subsequently trained as a nurse.