Christopher Berkeley (“Kit”) Wynn Parry

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1971
  1. Anne Gulland, London
  1. annecgulland{at}

Rheumatologist who specialised in hand injuries and performing arts medicine

When as a young medical graduate Kit Wynn Parry found out that the Royal Air Force was looking for recruits for the new specialty of physical medicine, he jumped at the chance. As a student during the second world war he had missed out on active service and, like many of his peers, was keen to serve.

The specialty emerged during the war to enable pilots—who were expensive to train and in short supply—to quickly return to active service after injury. Physical medicine, later known as rehabilitation, was new and exciting, “a young man’s specialty,” as Wynn Parry described it.1

Wynn Parry had started to specialise in rheumatology at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he had worked for Herbert Seddon, professor of orthopaedic surgery. Seddon had done some early work classifying nerve injuries, their treatment, and neuropathic pain.

Wynn Parry developed this interest when he joined the combined services rehabilitation units at Headley Court and Chessington in Surrey in 1948. He became an expert on treatment of hand injuries—largely self taught as there was nothing in the medical literature. He soon remedied this with his first …

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