Ilsley IngramBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7458.174 (Published 15 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:174
Ilsley Ingram combined academic and clinical excellence with erudition in plant taxonomy and the art of a poet. Born in India of missionary parents, he was soon returned to the care of relatives in England after the early death of his sister. Despite an isolated upbringing, he grew up with an unusual sympathy for children and a notable talent for mimicry. He overcame a prominent stammer by developing a gift for reciting verse, sometimes his own.
At Trinity College, Cambridge, Ilsley joined the debating society to help control his stammer. He moved to St Thomas's Hospital, London, in 1941 soon after the Blitz—with most of the medical school then transferring out to Hydestyle in Surrey for the rest of the second world war. He developed his talent for poetry, but never for music (he was “tone deaf” and …
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