Lives of the fellows

William Errington (Sir) Hume

b.14 July 1879 d.1 January 1960
CMG(1919) BA Cantab(1900) MA Cantab(1904) MB BCh Cantab(1904) MD Cantab(1913) MRCP(1909) FRCP(1917)

William Hume was the son of George Haliburton Hume, surgeon to the Newcastle Infirmary, and Frances Diana (Jackson) Hume. He was educated at Repton, Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the London Hospital, where he clerked for Sir Bertrand Dawson, later Lord Dawson of Penn, with whom he formed a life-long friendship. He was appointed assistant physician to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, at the age of twenty-eight and full physician six months later. During his career of thirty-one years at the Infirmary he held a commanding position as clinician and teacher.

Though essentially a general physician his special interest was in cardiology; he was a master of the Mackenzie ink-polygraph and published one of the early papers on auricular flutter (Quart. J. Med.,1912-13, 6, 235-40), and others on the heart in diphtheria. He was one of the founders of the Cardiac Society.

In the First World War he became, though still in his thirties, consulting physician to the 1st Army in France; in this post he did notable work on poison gas, on the so-called D.A.H. or effort syndrome, and on spirochaetal jaundice.

At the College Hume was Bradshaw lecturer in 1930 and Harveian orator in 1943. He was a Councillor, 1933-5, a Censor in 1938 and 1939, and Senior Censor in 1941.

He held the chair of medicine of Durham University for several years before the Second World War. After retirement from the teaching hospital he was for some years physician to the Newcastle General Hospital. There he was largely responsible for the creation of the regional interest in medical history and wrote a history of the Newcastle Infirmary on the occasion of its bicentenary in 1951.

Hume was tall and handsome; he combined dignity with trenchant wit and humour, and inspired the intense devotion of all who worked with him.

He married in 1918 Marie Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Col. Tisseyre, of the French Army, and had two sons and three daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Brit. Heart J., 1960, 22, 426-8 (p); Brit.med.J., 1960, 1, 132-3 (p); Lancet, 1960, 1, 117-18 (p); Newcastle med. J., 1960, 24, 94-6 (p); Times, 2 Jan. 1960; Univ. Durh. med. Gaz., 1960, 54, 55-6 (p).]

(Volume V, page 206)

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