Lives of the fellows

Hugh Gregory Garland

b.8 October 1903 d.23 October 1967
TD MB ChB Leeds(1926) MRCS LRCP(1927) MRCP(1929) MD(1930) FRCP(1939)

Hugh Gregory Garland was born in Bridlington. He received his early education locally and studied medicine at Leeds University Medical School where he graduated MB ChB in 1926. He began his career with house appointments in Leeds Infirmary and then came to London where he held house appointments at the National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, and the Brompton Hospital. He returned to Leeds and held resident appointments in the children’s department and the pathology department at the General Infirmary before becoming medical registrar there. He was appointed medical tutor and achieved a reputation as a first class clinical instructor. In 1929 he took the MRCP and proceeded MD the following year. He was appointed honorary physician to the Leeds Public Dispensary in 1934, where he was associated with Professor S.J. Hartfall in the gold treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In 1937 he was appointed honorary assistant physician to Leeds General Infirmary. By this time he already had a flourishing private practice and was well known as a neurologist. He also served the St James’s Hospital and the Herzl-Moser Hospital. He was elected a Fellow of the College in 1939.

Hugh Garland was a keen member of the Territorial Army and served in the RAMC throughout the whole of the second world war, where he did much for neurology in the Medical Corps, first as Command neurologist in York and later as adviser in neurology, Southern Army, India. He established an excellent neurology centre for India Command at Poona and subsequently at Secunderabad. After the fall of Rangoon he drew attention to neuropathies due to nutritional deficiencies. On demobilization, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he returned to his post at the Leeds General Infirmary, where he took charge of the neurological department, an appointment he held until his death. In 1948 he became senior clinical lecturer in neurology in the University of Leeds, and with the coming of the National Health Service he also became consultant neurologist to the Leeds Regional Hospital Board.

A founder member of the Association of British Neurologists, and a councillor during 1947-1951, he also founded and was president of the North of England Neurological Association. He was a founder member and first president of the Leeds and West Riding Medico-Legal Association, president of the section of neurology of the BMA in 1957, and one time president of the neurological section of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Hugh Garland was a man of exceptional ability, embellished by a complex and colourful personality. Always an iconoclast, he delighted in tilting at cherished beliefs, and his criticism could at times be cutting. He was, however, most kind at heart, had a keen sense of humour, and was always generous and helpful to his associates. He was an outstanding teacher, and was greatly in demand as a lecturer and speaker. In addition, he was a prolific and lucid writer, publishing over a hundred papers on a wide variety of subjects in many different journals. He paid a great deal of attention to the use of good English and had an ability to make his juniors write clearly and succinctly.

During the years 1949 to 1955 he was editor of the Leeds University Medical Journal. He later organized a series of lectures on the scientific aspects of neurology in which a number of eminent speakers took part, and these lectures were subsequently published in book form.

He and his wife were the perfect host and hostess at their home in Bramthorpe. He was fond of good company and good food, was an excellent after dinner speaker, and was never happier than with a crowd of old associates around him retelling, in extraordinary detail, tales of earlier days. He had a score of devoted pupils to whom he often referred, in jest, as his disciples. He was not just their teacher but a personal friend and a constant source of inspiration, and there are many who owe much to his guidance, support and encouragement during their formative years. Hugh Garland had a zest for life, great intellectual powers, moral courage and integrity. He was meticulous and fastidious in his habits and personal appearance.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

[, 1967, 4, 300; Lancet, 1967, 2, 993, 1097]

(Volume VI, page 191)

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