Lives of the fellows

Edward Revill Cullinan

b.11 June 1901 d.16 March 1965
CBE(1963) MB BS Lond(1924) MD Lond(1926) MRCS LRCP(1924) MRCP(1926) FRCP(1934)

Edward Revill Cullinan was the only son of Edward Cullinan, M.D. (Brussels), M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., who was in practice in Hammersmith, and May Revill. He was educated at a Dames’ School in Hammersmith, at Colet Court Preparatory School, Downside, and Epsom College, from which he entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. There he was house physician to Sir Thomas (later Lord) Horder and to the departments of venereology and dermatology, and after a short spell as assistant medical registrar at the Westminster Hospital returned in 1927 as chief assistant to Horder. Two years later he became casualty officer and as senior demonstrator under E. H. Kettle studied the morbid anatomy of Bright’s disease and hepatic necrosis. He then worked as Catlin research fellow with the group whose researches on Hodgkin’s disease were published as the Rose report on lymphadenoma in 1932. By then he had joined the staff of the new Woolwich War Memorial and the Gordon Hospitals; now he was elected assistant physician to St. Bartholomew’s.

From the outbreak of war in 1939 to 1941, when he joined the R.A.M.C., he worked with the hospital staff evacuated to Hill End Hospital, St. Albans. In the rank of lieutenant-colonel he served with the 42nd General Hospital in the Canal Zone, Egypt, and later with the 3rd General near Alexandria and at Sidon, before going to East Africa Command as a brigadier.

On demobilisation he returned to his former hospital appointments and to those on the staffs of the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers, and very rapidly became established as a leading consultant with a particular interest in gastroenterology and especially in liver disease. In 1946 he became a full physician to St. Bartholomew’s.

At the College he was a Councillor, 1948-50, a Censor, 1957-8, and Senior Censor, 1964, sat on the Central Specialists’ and Consultants’ Committee, was representative on the Metropolitan Recruitment Committee, and was an active member of the Committee on the planning of the new College. In 1950 he gave the Bradshaw lecture on the clinical interpretation of jaundice.

His service in East Africa had given him an interest in and insight into the medical problems of that continent, and he made a recognised contribution to the work of the Nuffield Panel of Consultants, travelling on several tours for the Commonwealth Relations Office during which he examined in the Universities of Witwatersrand, Cape Town and Makerere.

At home he examined for the London, Liverpool and Sheffield Universities, for the Conjoint Board and for the National University of Ireland, and was consultant to the Army and the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. In 1958 he was president of the Medical Society of London, president of the section of medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a member of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries from 1957.

Cullinan was an able teacher, practical and humanitarian, with a deep understanding of every patient. His charm hid from the casual acquaintance a seriousness and strength of purpose. Although a devout son of the Church of Rome, his observances were unobtrusive and were undoubtedly the basis of his ready support for the oppressed. In his earlier days he was an accomplished member of the Magic Circle; later he was a mountaineer and rock climber, and a considerable amateur of glass with a distinguished collection which included eighteenth century drinking glasses and unique lacemakers’ lamps. In 1930 he married Dorothea Joy Horder; they had one daughter and three sons.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1965, 1, 866-7, 1004; Lancet, 1965, 1, 713-14 (p); Times, 17 Mar. 1965.]

(Volume V, page 90)

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