A TRUE hero and pioneer of clinical allergy has died at 108.

Dr Alfred William Frankland, who passed away on Thursday, was respected across the world for his work on allergen-specific immunotherapy, which has seen countless patients’ quality of life improved.

After surviving time as a prisoner of war, Dr Frankland began his distinguished work, returning to St Mary’s Hospital, London, to lead invaluable work into allergens.

The St Bees School alumnus worked as a clinical assistant to Sir Alexander Fleming in the development of penicillin, and the pair only had one disagreement when Dr Frankland (rightly) believed an allergy to penicillin was likely to develop.

Professor Adam Fox, president of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) of which Dr Frankland was president from 1963 to 1966 said: “Bill is the ‘grandfather’ of our speciality and has been a great friend to many of us as well as an enormous inspiration to many more.

“He achieved so much in both his professional and personal life and is going to be greatly missed by us all for so many reasons.”

Dr Frankland received many honours over his lifetime, being given his highest in 2015 at the age of 103, when he was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list and awarded an MBE.

The expert also ran the immunotherapy clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, giving desensitizing injections to thousands of patients, and took part in the first trial of grass pollen injections to treat hay fever to prove how effective they are.

He also demonstrated that immunization with bacteria did not prevent asthma exacerbations.

On Bill’s recommendation, the hospital employed a botanist allowing pollen counts to be recorded from the roof, which have been used in weather forecasts since 1963.

Due to his monumental work, the allergy unit at St Mary’s Hospital was named after Dr Frankland, with BSACI also naming an award in his honour.

St Bees School headmaster Roger Sinnett, said: “Bill represents a role model for us all at St Bees School. He was a pioneer in his field, dedicating himself to his chosen specialism, becoming a leader in his field.

“However, he never lost that down-to-earth quality of being interested in other people and was unfailingly polite and friendly to all.

“Throughout his long lifetime, Bill maintained an interest in St Bees School.

“We would like to believe that just as St Bees had a formative influence on Bill’s younger years, it is his life which now acts as a shining beacon for our students, lighting the way – a fine example of what can be achieved through a sense of purpose, dedication and commitment.”

He added: “We send our warmest wishes and thoughts, at this hard time, to Bill’s family. Long may his memories live on for them and for us here at St Bees.”