Lives of the fellows

Sidney Campbell Dyke

b.1886 d.3 March 1975
BA Toronto(1909) BA Oxon(1913) LMSSA Lond(1915) BM BCh(1918) DPH(1919) DM(1924) MRCP(1923) FRCP(1934) MA Oxon(1956) FRCPath(1967)

Sidney Campbell Dyke was born in England but he was educated in Canada where he went at the age of 12 years when his family emigrated. He graduated at the University of Toronto in 1909 with first class honours in Arts and at first he took up journalism but turned to schoolteaching. In 1910 he won a Rhodes’ Scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford and gained first class honours in Natural Sciences in 1913. He began to study medicine but at the outbreak of war he joined King Edward’s Horse as a trooper. In 1915 he qualified LMSSA and was posted to France as Captain RAMC.

After demobilization he was appointed Assistant Bacteriologist at the School of Medicine of the University of Durham in 1918, but in 1920 he was invited by Sir Cuthbert Wallace to join the new Clinical Laboratory at St. Thomas’s Hospital. In 1924 he was admitted MRCP and gained the DM Oxon., and in the same year he was appointed Pathologist and Bacteriologist to the South Staffordshire General Hospital, now the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton, where he worked until his retirement in 1952. After retirement he was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and became the first Curator of the Regional Histological Collection.

Dyke was always clinically orientated and established out-patient clinics for diabetes mellitus and pernicious anaemia in his laboratory as well as having charge of a few beds in the hospital. He wrote papers on the diagnosis of pernicious anaemia and locally he introduced the use of liver for it, as well as insulin for diabetes. In 1929 he was awarded the Radcliffe Prize for the Advancement of Medicine by the University of Oxford and during his lifetime he edited all five editions of Recent Advances in Clinical Pathology.

He will always be remembered for the creation of the Association of Clinical Pathologists (ACP) whose triennial Foundation Lecture is linked with his name. This was in 1927, and he extended its ideals by starting the European Association of Clinical Pathology in 1941, now the International Society which honoured him with the title President d’Honneur. He always stressed the ACP’s prime function in continuing education, and himself was a constant attender at the scientific sessions until shortly before his death in 1975. He had a gift for informed conversation backed by apt quotation (often from the Bible) and he had a true interest in the opinions of all people, from the most junior members of the Association to the most erudite. Dyke’s influence in developing clinical pathology must have had a profound effect on the whole progress of medicine since the second world war.

AG Marshall

[Brit.med.J., 1975, 1, 687; Lancet, 1975, 1, 703, 814]

(Volume VI, page 156)

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