Lives of the fellows

Harold Benjamin Day

b.28 February 1880 d.1 November 1959
MC(1917) MB BS Lond(1904) MD Lond(1905) MRCS LRCP(1902) MRCP(1908) FRCP(1918)

Harold Day, the eldest son of the Rev. B. W. Day, was born in London. At King’s College Hospital, which he entered with the Warneford scholarship, he had a brilliant record, gaining the Sambrooke exhibition and the Rabbeth scholarship, and the London University gold medal in the M.B. and M.D. examinations. After resident posts at his parent hospital and at the Royal Free, he returned to King’s as Sambrooke medical registrar until 1906, when he was appointed registrar and tutor to the Government School of Medicine in Cairo. From 1910 until 1914, when he joined the R.A.M.C, and did gallant service in France that brought him a Military Cross in 1917, he was professor of clinical medicine at the Royal School of Medicine and physician to the Kasr-el-Aini and Anglo-American Hospitals.

He returned to Cairo in 1919 and in 1922 the King of Egypt conferred upon him the Order of the Nile (3rd class) in recognition of the valuable services he had rendered. In 1925 he came back to London to be, first, lecturer in forensic medicine and toxicology, and then lecturer in tropical diseases at King’s and physician to the Royal Chest Hospital. Again in 1933 he went back to Cairo, this time as professor of clinical medicine and director of the medical unit until his retirement in 1936.

Day had a tall, spare, rather stooping figure. In the wards he was a good, practical teacher, who treated patients with meticulous care and students with patience and a kindly, if sometimes biting humour. Otherwise, however, he was so withdrawn as to appear secretive; in his laboratory he discouraged visitors and discussed his investigations with no one.

In 1920 he married Ruth Witty, by whom he had one daughter; she died in 1914. In 1920 he married Winifred Hughes; they had one son, who qualified in medicine.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1959, 2, 1103, 1410.]

(Volume V, page 97)

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