Lives of the fellows

Ernest Gordon (Sir) Graham-Little

b.1867 d.6 October 1950
BA Cape of Good Hope(1887) MD Lond LSA MRCS FRCP(1906) MP

Born in Bengal, the son of Michael Little, I.C.S., and his wife Anna English, a South African, Ernest Graham Gordon Little (he altered his surname when he was knighted in 1931) took an arts degree at South African College, Cape University, in 1887. He then studied medicine at Guy’s and St. George’s Hospitals in London, winning an entrance scholarship to the latter and the Acland prize for clinical medicine. Having qualified in 1892 and graduated a year later, he made further studies in Dublin and Paris and obtained a succession of house appointments at the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest and St. George’s. He was also elected assistant physician to the East London Hospital for Children, where he rose eventually to be consulting physician. His main association, however, was with St. Mary’s Hospital; he was physician in charge of the skin department and lecturer on dermatology from 1902 to 1934 and again from 1940 to 1941. During the War of 1914-1918 he acted as consulting dermatologist to London military hospitals.

Graham-Little’s career as a consultant was gradually overshadowed by his increasing preoccupation with London University matters and later with politics. He represented London medical graduates in the Senate from 1906 to 1950 and became chairman of the University Graduates Association in 1922. He did much to secure the admission of women as external students and favoured an increase in university scholarships. He was elected as Independent M.P. for the University in 1924 in opposition to candidates pledged to support certain recommendations of the Haldane Report, and was repeatedly returned to Parliament with varying majorities until the abolition of university seats in 1950. In the House he interested himself especially in legislation with a medical bearing and made effective use of his medical knowledge in committee. In 1943 he was chairman of the Medical Parliamentary Committee. He was a strong opponent of the National Health Service and of socialism in all its aspects. Graham-Little was a man who spared no vigour in making his views known, both in and out of Parliament, and was frequently involved in serious controversy. Nevertheless, he was universally respected for his integrity and his loyalty. He married in 1911 Sarah Helen, daughter of Maurice Kendall, and had one son and one daughter. He died at his home in Epsom.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1950; B.M.J., 1950; Times, 9 Oct. 1950; Times Educational Supplement, 13 Oct. 1950]

(Volume IV, page 475)

<< Back to List