Lives of the fellows

Ronald Harris

b.31 December 1918 d.4 April 1987
MB ChB Leeds(1943) DPhys Med(1949) MD(1951) MRCP(1967) FRCP(1974)

Ronald Harris was born in Leeds, where his father, Alec Ellis Harris, was a tailoring manufacturer. His mother, Dorothy, née Pliener, was the daughter of a haberdasher. He was educated at the City of Leeds School and the University of Leeds, where he graduated in medicine, undertaking his clinical studies at Leeds General Hospital.

He held postgraduate house appointments at Tynemouth Infirmary, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, the Royal Infirmary, Leeds, and the Royal Free Hospital, London. He soon developed an interest in physical medicine and moved to Buxton in 1952, where he set up a comprehensive rehabilitation service for a wide range of locomotor disorders, in addition to complementing existing rheumatology practice. He wrote many articles which contributed to a better understanding of physical methods of treatment and was the author of several chapters in a series of books edited by Sidney Licht, Physical Medicine Library, New Haven, USA, E Licht.

During the second world war he served as a surgeon lieutenant RNVR, from 1945-47.

He married Natalie Denise Sacof, daughter of a company director, in 1949 and they had three children, a son and two daughters. Outside medicine and his family, his main interest lay in horticulture and rowing; he coached for Bristol University Boat Club and also for Leeds University and Northampton College, London.

Ronnie was greatly admired at Buxton for his drive and enthusiasm for rehabilitation and also because he recognized that all the members of his team - whether medical, paramedical or nursing - should be regarded as being on an equal footing. His final illness forced him to retire at 55, and he spent many years in hospital. His wife and family survived him.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1987,294,1360]

(Volume VIII, page 211)

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