b.24 October 1892 d.28 March 1970
MA Oxon(1919) MRCS LRCP(1924) BM BCh(1924) MRCP(1926) DM(1932) FRCP(1938)
Cyril Lloyd Elgood was born at Northwood, Middlesex, the son of Sir Frank Minshul Elgood, architect, and his wife Frances Isabel Allen. He was educated at Bradfield and Balliol, Oxford, where he graduated in Arts. At this time he had strong leanings towards becoming a Benedictine monk, but after serving in the 1914-18 war he decided, on his return to civilian life, to marry and to read medicine. In 1918 he married Ethel Helen Hunt, and they had three sons. Entering St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, he qualified in 1924 and obtained his MRCP two years later, having meanwhile served as house physician to the Evelina Hospital for Children and the West London Hospital. Soon after he left England for a post in the Legation in Teheran where, on the advice of Professor Edward Granville Browne, he began to collect and translate mediaeval Persian medical manuscripts. He gave some of these to the College in 1939, having been elected a Fellow the previous year.
Elgood returned to England at the oubreak of war in 1939, but left again as soon as he could, taking a succession of posts in Palestine, Libya, the Sudan and the Persian Gulf. He retired to the Seychelles, for a time acting as Director of Medical Services in the islands, but finally settled down on one of the smaller islands where he could indulge his love of solitude and reading.
At the time of his death, Elgood was probably the greatest living authority on early Arabian medicine. His classic work is a Medical history of Persia (1948), and his last work Medicine in the time of the Safavid was published posthumously in 1971.
A collection of books and manuscripts bequeathed to the Institute of the History of Medicine and Medical Research in Delhi is known as the Dr Elgood Collection and is of inestimable value to all who are interested in the medical history of the Middle East.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
[Times, 1 Apr 1970]
(Volume VI, page 160)
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