Lives of the fellows

William Innes Gerrard

b.13 May 1884 d.7 March 1956
OBE(1929) CBE(1945) MB ChB Aberd(1920) DPH Aberd(1911) MD Aberd(1924) MRCP(1925) FRCP(1936)

W. I. Gerrard was born in Aberdeen, the eldest son of Macpherson Grant Gerrard, a teacher, and Mary Anne (Laggie) Gerrard. He was educated at Robert Gordon’s College and Aberdeen University. After junior hospital appointments he took the D.P.H, in 1911, and then held a public health appointment in Aberdeenshire. At the outbreak of the First World War he joined the R.N.V.R. and subsequently transferred to the regular Royal Naval Medical Service. He was posted as medical specialist to the R.N. Hospital, Malta, after obtaining his M.R.C.P, in 1925.

In 1929 he was appointed professor of medicine in the University of Hong Kong and resigned from the Navy with the rank of surgeon-commander, being awarded the O.B.E. On the outbreak of war in 1939 Gerrard was recalled to the Navy and was appointed surgeon-captain in charge of the medical division in the naval hospital at Kingseat, Aberdeenshire. He was promoted C.B.E, in 1945. Among his other honours were the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Order of the Brilliant Jade (Chinese Republic), and the Russian Order of St. Anne. On reaching retiring age he spent his remaining years in semi-retirement at Cults, near Aberdeen.

While in Hong Kong Gerrard had little time or facilities for original work, but he established himself as a successful teacher and consultant and played an active part in developing the clinical professorial unit in the new Queen Mary Hospital. He was an urbane and kindly man, held in high regard by Europeans and Chinese. Although tall and handsome he was not robust physically, and was handicapped by the loss of an eye from detachment of the retina.

He married in 1911 Margaret Ann Stephen, daughter of Alexander Stephen, of Aberdeen. She survived him, but died a few years later. He had two daughters, both of whom married Army officers.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1956, 1, 752-3; Times, 22 Mar. 1956.]

(Volume V, page 146)

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