Lives of the fellows

Alexander Wilson Gill

b.11 April 1888 d.30 August 1948
MB ChB Edin(1920) MD Edin(1912) MRCP(1927) FRCP(1944)

Alexander Wilson Gill, the son of William and Jessie (née Wilson) Gill, was a native of Edinburgh, and was educated at its Royal High School and University. He spent the years 1920 to 1912 in house posts at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and the City Infirmary, Birmingham, before becoming an assistant in general practice at Hanley to Mr Reginald Alcock, a consultant surgeon to the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary.

Following a wound received in France in 1917 while serving with the R.A.M.C., he was posted as neurologist to the Seale Hayne Military Hospital. There he came under the influence of Sir Arthur Hurst and developed that interest in functional disorders and their treatment by hypnosis which he used to great effect when he returned to civilian practice in 1921.

In 1922 he was elected to the staff of the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, but did not enter consulting practice until 1927, when he became a Member of the College. By then he had installed the first electrocardiograph in the Hospital and set up a cardiac clinic; but he became increasingly absorbed with functional disorders and their treatment by psycho-analysis, studying the works of Freud,and having himself psycho-analysed by Dr Jung once a week for two years.

With understanding and patience he could explain to the patient and his relatives the essence of an individual problem in succinct and non-technical terms. His relaxations were fishing and literature; he was an ardent admirer of Dr Samuel Johnson and a student of Boswell.

He married Edith Mary Johnson, of Congleton; they had no issue.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1948, 2, 578; Lancet, 1948, 2, 592.]

(Volume V, page 148)

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