Lives of the fellows

Harold Kingston (Sir) Graham-Hodgson

b.5 December 1890 d.21 August 1960
CVO(1929) KCVO(1950) MB BS Durh(1916) DMRE Cantab(1923) MRCP(1932) FRCP(1937) FFR(1939)

Harold Graham-Hodgson, one of the leading radiologists of his day, was born at Eastbourne, the second son of Dr George Graham-Hodgson, of Eastbourne and Chertsey, and Josephine, née Iredale, and was educated at Mulgrave, St. Edward’s School, Clare College, Cambridge, and Durham University. In 1914 he left his medical studies to join the Army as a dispatch rider, but was discharged to continue them, and following house posts at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, served in France as a regimental medical officer until he was wounded in 1917.

In 1918 he was posted as radiologist to the 2nd Northern General Hospital at Leeds. This was a turning point in his career, for in 1922 he gave up general practice at Chislehurst to become honorary radiologist to the Throat, Nose and Ear, Hospital, Golden Square. There intensive study of the radiological features of diseases of the nose, the nasal sinuses, and the ears led to a technique that has remained standard practice.

In 1924 he was appointed honorary radiologist to King’s College Hospital; later appointments were to the Ministry of Pensions, the Hampstead General Hospital, and the St. John’s Hospital, Twickenham. His growing reputation was recognised by Lord Dawson, who selected him to carry out the radiological examinations during the long illness of King George V. For this service he was awarded the C.V.O, in 1929, and in 1950 the K.C.V.O, for continued services to the Royal Family.

When it was decided to set up a radiological department in the new Middlesex Hospital in 1933, Lord Webb-Johnson invited Graham-Hodgson to design and direct it. It became a model, with a world-wide reputation for post-graduate teaching in diagnostic radiology, and for its school of radiography. For twenty-three years as its fame grew so did Graham-Hodgson’s private practice.

He became consulting radiologist to the Royal Navy, to the British Red Cross Society and to the King Edward VII Hospital for Officers, and was made an honorary fellow of the American College of Radiology, the South African Association of Radiologists, and the Chilean Radiological Society. He was a founder member of the Faculty of Radiologists, a president of the radiology section of the Royal Society of Medicine, and a most successful treasurer of the 1950 International Congress of Radiology.

Graham-Hodgson was a good mixer, with a warm personality. In his full life he made as much of a success of his varied hobbies of fishing, shooting, yachting and farming, as he did of his lecturing. He was married twice; in 1917 to Winifred Elizabeth, daughter of George Jenkins, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, by whom he had one son and one daughter; in 1943 to Rosa Dorothy, widow of Frank L. Hallam. He is remembered in a stained-glass lancet window in the Church of St. Laurence the Martyr, Tidmarsh, Pangbourne.

Richard R Trail

[, 1960, 2, 740-41 (p); Lancet, 1960, 2, 498-9; Times, 22 Aug. 1960.]

(Volume V, page 162)

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