Lives of the fellows

Arthur John (Sir) Hall

b.27 July 1866 d.3 January 1951
MN BCh Cantab(1889) MA MD Hon DSc Sheff FRCP(1904)

Arthur Hall was born at Sheffield, the son of John Hall, a surgeon, and educated at Broombank School, Sheffield, Rugby, and Caius College, Cambridge. Having graduated in natural sciences in 1887, he did his clinical training at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and took the M.B, B.Ch, degrees two years later. He began his career by helping his father in general practice, but after a year decided to establish himself as a consultant. He was elected in 1890 physician to the Sheffield Royal Hospital, and remained on its active staff for forty-two years. Throughout this period, he was one of the chief supporters of medical education in Sheffield. Early appointed assistant demonstrator of physiology in the Medical School, he was one of the prime movers in its amalgamation with two other institutions to form Sheffield University College in 1897 and of its transformation into the medical faculty of the new Sheffield University in 1905. In 1898 he relinquished the chair of physiology, which he then occupied, to become professor of pathology; he resigned the latter chair in 1905. He was dean of the faculty from 1911 to 1916 and professor of medicine from 1916 to 1931. During the 1914-1918 War he held the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the R.A.M.C.

Not only by his administrative achievements but also through his clinical work, Hall’s reputation outside Sheffield grew steadily. He was one of the first to describe the symptoms of encephalitis lethargica in 1918, and from 1930 to 1936 he acted as chairman of the Pulmonary Industrial Diseases Committee of the Medical Research Council. He examined for the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, and was made Senior Censor of the Royal College of Physicians — the first provincial Fellow to receive this honour. He delivered the Lumleian Lectures in 1923. He was knighted in 1935, but in Sheffield always enjoyed the nickname of "Lord Arthur", which signified the respect and affection won by his qualities of tact, good humour and wisdom. He was a man of wide culture and a fine ’cello player. He married in 1900 Hilda Mary, daughter of Charles Vickers, and had a son and a daughter. Hall died in Sheffield.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1951; B.M.J., 1951; Times, 5, 12 Jan. 1951; Al.Cantab., iii, 197]

(Volume IV, page 461)

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