Intended for healthcare professionals


Bryon Edward Roberts

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 14 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4220
  1. Derek Norfolk,
  2. Graeme Smith,
  3. David Roberts

Bryon Edward Roberts founded the department of haematology at the General Infirmary at Leeds and was a major figure in the development of modern haematology practice in Yorkshire and the UK. His father, Albert Roberts, was a coal miner and trades unionist who became the Labour MP for Normanton in west Yorkshire. In his youth, Bryon was an excellent cricketer, close to county level—an attritional batsman, “more Geoffrey Boycott than Viv Richards,” as he put it.

Bryon entered Leeds Medical School in 1951. In his professional autobiography, Blood on my Hands (2016), he described postwar Leeds as “a dirty, smoky city” that contrasted sharply with “the gleam and glitter of the Rolls Royces and Bentleys of the hospital’s consultant staff.” After qualifying in 1957 he married Audrey, a school teacher, later in the same year. He worked at the Leeds General Infirmary as house surgeon to Digby Chamberlain and Michael Oldfield, protégés of the legendary surgeon Berkley Moynihan, and was then …

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