Tribute paid to village doctor and teaching fellow

Tribute has been paid to a former GP and university lecturer who did his utmost to give his patients the very best treatment.

Dr Paul Strickland, from Lyng, has died, aged 62.

His widow, retired doctor Caroline Strickland, 61, said he was a generous family man and a committed doctor.

Mrs Strickland said: “As a rural GP, he liked spending time with patients and giving them the best treatment he could give them. In the early days especially, it was a 24-hour commitment.”

Besides his work and family, his passions included travel and outdoor activities.

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Mrs Strickland said: “He was quite adventurous and enjoyed sailing, walking and rowing.”

He also had a love of cycling, which took him on journeys from the tea plantations of Sri Lanka to local rides around the country lanes of Norfolk.

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Dr Strickland was born and grew up in Thorpe Saint Andrew, and attended Thorpe Grammar School, becoming head boy in his final year.

He worked as an instructor at an adventure school in Scotland before starting his studies Bristol University in 1977, where he met Caroline, a fellow medical student.

They married in 1983 at Walpole St Peter, near Wisbech, and Dr Strickland became a partner at the Elmham Surgery in North Elmham in 1987.

During that time the family moved to the Fiordland region of New Zealand for a six-month sabbatical, where he and his wife both worked as GPs in the town of Te Anau.

Dr Strickland later worked as a teaching fellow and lecturer at the University of East Anglia, passing on what he had learned about medicine and communication to the next generation of doctors.

Mrs Strickland said: “He had a huge amount of knowledge which he loved imparting to the students at UEA.”

The couple have three children; Michael, 33, Thomas, 31 and Claire, 29, and two grandchildren, Harding, three, and Lily, one.

Dr Strickland was diagnosed with mesothelioma last year, and a fundraiser in his memory for Mesothelioma UK can be found at

He was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where he received excellent care. The family would like to thank all those who were involved in looking after him at this difficult time.

The funeral cortege will drive through North Elmham and past the surgery on Thursday, July 16 at 10am.

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