A former Provost-Marshal of the British Army who went on to run three of Birmingham's biggest hospitals has died.
Brigadier Brian Thomas died at his home in Mappleborough Green, Warwickshire, last Monday just five days after his 74th birthday.
After retiring from his glittering Army career in 1986, Brig Thomas was asked to take over the running of Birmingham General Hospital, the Children's Hospital and the Dental Hospital.
Despite being urged to renew his contract in 1991, he retired from his role as general manager at the age of 60.
Brig Thomas had had surgery to remove cancer from his bowel in 2001, but a secondary cancer spread to his liver, and his condition worsened suddenly in recent weeks.
Born on October 19, 1931, he was educated in London at Dulwich College before moving up to Whitgift School.
In 1950 he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps, then transferred to the Royal Military Police in October 1952.
He was then awarded the role of Provost-Marshal, making him supreme commander of the British military police around the world.
Following that appointment he was given the title brigadier and later was made a Commander of the British Empire.
In April 1986, Brig Thomas, then aged 55, was preparing to retire from Army life, when he was approached to take over three of Birmingham's acute hospitals.
Nor O'Neill-Thomas, his second wife, said: "He had always wanted a second career and thought he would take a generic 'post officer' army job before he was offered the position of general manager.
"He had had nothing to do with health or hospitals before but his command of people was excellent, in fact some told me the other day Brian's modesty was his hallmark.
"When his contract was ending everyone from hospital managers to matrons were asking him to stay on, nobody wanted him to leave."
Despite his popularity with his colleagues, Brig Thomas retired in 1991, only to be appointed chairman of the Alexandra Hospital Trust, in Redditch, in 1992 - a post he held for three years.
He also served as a committee member on Warwickshire Police Authority.
Brig Thomas is survived by two step-sons and six step-grandchildren from his second marriage.
His funeral, with full military honours, will be held at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Studley, Warwickshire, at 12.30pm today.