Mr. Thomas Page MBE


Mr. Thomas Page MBE

MR. Thomas Page, who has died aged 91, was a World War 2 glider pilot who later became a pioneering occupational therapist at the Downshire Hospital in Downpatrick.

Mr. Page was born in 1920 into a military family in India. He came to Britain aged seven and was educated in Edinburgh and Birmingham.

He joined the army at the age of 28 and enlisted in the Royal Artillery. He subsequently volunteered and was accepted as a glider pilot. He flew larger Horsa gliders, which were bigger than four-engined bombers. They could carry paratroopers and equipment such as Jeeps and artillery pieces.

In a distinguished war career, Mr. Page saw action during the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944 and later at Arnhem.

After the war he trained as an occupational therapist at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London and later took up a post at St. Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey.

In 1953 Mr. Page took up a position as occupational therapist at the Downshire Hospital. At the time he was the only fully qualified occupational therapist in Northern Ireland and he instigated formal training for other occupational therapists.

Mr. Page was one of the founding members of the Industrial Therapy Organisation, better known as the I.T.O., which helped many patients gain employment outside the hospital.

In recognition of his work he was awarded the M.B.E. in 1972.

Mr. Page was a man with many interests. He was particularly keen on sport and played football, hockey and cricket for the Downshire Hospital.

He is survived by his wife Aloma, son Tony, daughter Angela and large family circle.