Robert Charles RyderBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39288.715694.BE (Published 02 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:264
- Gerard Kiley
Robert Charles Ryder, a pioneer of pathological research into emphysema who has died aged 71 after a short illness, laid the foundation for compensation for ex-coal miners and coal miners' widows by showing that emphysema was directly caused from working in coal mines.
The early research by Robert Ryder (“Bob”), who was consultant pathologist at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, was contrary to the opinions of the day yet it became the first study to establish that emphysema was attributable to exposure to coal dust.
At first the medical world reacted sceptically and cautiously to the discovery by Bob and his colleagues, Dr J Lyons, Professor H Campbell, and Professor John Gough, but as more researchers studied their findings, his research became invaluable and led to emphysema being classed as an occupational disease.
The son of a fireman, Bob was born in a fire station in Westgate Street, Cardiff, on 10 December 1935 and attended a number of schools in towns where his father was posted, chiefly Abersychan Grammar School in Monmouthshire, where his parents settled after his father's appointment as the county's …