b.26 April 1877 d.9 May 1960
MA Oxon(1903) BM BCh Oxon(1903) DM Oxon(1908) MRCS LRCP(1902) MRCP(1905) FRCP(1910)
Dr Hinds Howell was the son of Conrad Goodridge Howell, a barrister-at-law and a civil servant in the Ecclesiastical Commission, and Alma Mary (Gooding) Howell. He was educated at Marlborough College, Trinity College, Oxford, and the Medical College of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. At Oxford he obtained a first class in the final honour school in physiology and entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital as the senior entrance scholar. He was awarded the Kirkes scholarship and gold medal, the Brackenbury scholarship in medicine and the Lawrence scholarship and gold medal.
At Bart’s he was house physician to Sir Dyce Duckworth, demonstrator in physiology and pharmacology and casualty physician, and at the National Hospital, Queen Square, registrar and pathologist. He was appointed physician to the Royal Northern Hospital in 1908 (resigning this appointment in 1920), assistant physician to the National Hospital, Queen Square, in 1912, and assistant physician to Bart’s in 1920, becoming full physician in 1930.
For varying periods he held the appointment of consulting physician at Finchley Memorial Hospital, Harrow and Wealdstone Hospital, and Potters Bar Cottage Hospital. He retired from the active staff of Bart’s at the age of sixty in 1937, but from 1939 to 1945 returned to work in the Bart’s sector hospital at Hill End, St. Albans. He retired from the National Hospital in 1942, having been dean of the Medical School there for a number of years.
He was an examiner in medicine for the Universities of Oxford and London and for the Conjoint Board. He devoted considerable energy to the affairs of the College, being Censor (1941), Senior Censor (1945), and Treasurer (1942-5). He was the College representative on the Committee of Management from 1940 until 1952, being chairman for four of these years. He was president of the neurological section of the Royal Society of Medicine and of the British branch of the International League against Epilepsy, and was a founder member of the Association of British Neurologists.
Although primarily a neurologist, he was also a general physician of wide knowledge and experience. His interests were chiefly in the practice of clinical medicine and in teaching rather than in research. He published little, but he developed a method of injecting the Gasserian ganglion under general anaesthesia, a difficult procedure, but one in which he rarely failed. He was an excellent and popular teacher, concentrating on the basic principles rather than on the rare and the speculative. Perhaps his most notable characteristic was the kindness and understanding which he showed to his patients and to those who worked under him.
Outside medicine he had many interests. As a young man he was a good cricketer and he represented Oxford at fencing for three years. Later he became a keen fisherman, good shot and golfer. In his late fifties and early sixties he had a series of major operations, but he made an excellent recovery and was practising until a week or so before his death.
In 1905 he married Mabel Gulland, the daughter of Charles Gulland, J. P., solicitor, of Falkland, Fife. They had three sons, one of whom became a consultant physician.
It seems that he preferred to be known as Hinds-Howell after World War II.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1960, 1, 1573-4 (p); Lancet, 1960, 1, 1136-7 (p), 1200; Lond. Clin, med. J., 1961, 2, 51-2; St Bart’s Hosp.J., 1960, 64, 212-13.]
(Volume V, page 191)
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