Obituaries

Macdonald CritchleyJohn Michael EnglandEric Charles GambrillGeoffrey St John HallettJudith Mollie Hand (née Fenton)William (“Bill”) Howel-EvansJames Craig LindsayRobin LynnAlan Fleming McGlashanJoseph Dobson MilneAnthony Hugh Wade NiasGerald Huxham Pearce

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7129.478 (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:478

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Macdonald Critchley


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Former consultant neurologist King's College Hospital and National Hospital, Queen Square (b 1900; q Bristol (1st class honours) 1922; MD, FRCP; CBE), d 15 October 1997. He served in both world wars (in the first signing up under age, and in the second as a surgeon captain in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve). A prize winning MD at Bristol won him entry to the then rather enclosed world of London neurology. His career was one of apparently effortless promotion on the national and international neurological scene, and he seemed to become president of every organisation of which he was a member (such as the Association of British Neurologists and the World Federation of Neurology). Because of his eloquence and erudition he was much in demand, giving distinguished named lectures to many learned societies. A secret of his success was a facile and punctilious command of the written and spoken word. He also had an insatiable curiosity about medicine and people, coupled with an immense capacity for disciplined hard work. He was equally fastidious about dress and manners and for many years he hardly seemed to age. A particular characteristic was a wit which sometimes had a sharpness he was unable to restrain but it enlivened any topic on which he chose to speak or write. Few other neurologists this century, trained in the era before laboratory science was applied to neurology, had comparable linguistic and intellectual skills or applied them so widely or so successfully. Despite his verbal facility, his contributions were never superficial and he threw fresh light on many fields of neurology, including parietal lobe function, dyslexia, and the language of gesture, as well as many established aspects such as migraine (from which he suffered, becoming founder president of the Migraine Trust) and Huntington's chorea. In all he …

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