Lives of the fellows

Donald Elms Core

b.14 October 1882 d.8 February 1934
MB ChB Manch(1906) MD Manch(1910) MRCP(1920) FRCP(1934)

Donald Core’s death from nephritis at the early age of fifty-one was the direct result of his illnesses during service in Mesopotamia in World War I; pleurisy, dysentery and malaria left him delicate for the rest of his days. He was born in Manchester, where his father, Thomas Hamilton Core, was professor of physics; his mother was Alice Sophia Brown, the daughter of a broadcloth merchant. He was a student of great promise; at Manchester University, which he entered from the Grammar School, he graduated with first class honours, and gained the Durnville and Royal Infirmary prize in surgery. In the same year he was appointed Leech fellow in medicine.

After post-graduate work in Paris, where he studied in Babinski’s Clinic, he held in turn the posts of pathologist to the Christie Cancer Hospital, house physician at the Derby Royal Infirmary and resident medical officer to the Barnes Convalescent Home and Manchester Royal Infirmary. In 1912, after a stay of some months at the Pasteur Institute working under Metchnikoff on the physiology of blood and bone marrow, he was appointed honorary physician to Ancoats Hospital. Then came his service as a captain, R.A.M.C., which he finished as neurologist to the 2nd General Hospital at Manchester.

Thereafter Core was associated with his old teaching hospital as assistant and then full honorary physician, combining with these posts those of lecturer in clinical medicine and in neurology, and honorary physician to the Royal Eye Hospital, and confining himself almost entirely to neurology and psychiatry. He was a scrupulous examiner, bent on finding the psychotherapy suitable to the individual patient.

Although his published works could be difficult to follow even to the specialist in his subject, his lectures were clear and incisive. Few students knew him well until his natural reserve and impatience with slackness and mediocrity were found to hide a kindly nature and an intense sympathy for the humblest of patients. To his colleagues he was the old-world type of physician, unhurried, and happiest when sitting in silent contemplation in the Hospital Board Room or enjoying the company of his sister and twin brothers. He never married.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1934, 1, 315-16; J.Path.Bact., 1934, 39, 541; Lancet, 1934, 1, 377 (p).]

(Volume V, page 83)

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