Lives of the fellows

Alan Robert Kelsall

b.5 April 1911 d.4 June 1994
TD BA Cantab(1932) BChir(1935) MRCS LRCP(1935) MB(1937) MRCP(1937) MD(1947) FRCP(1964)

Alan Kelsall was born in Burma, the son of lieutenant-colonel Robert Kelsall of the Indian Medical Service and Isabel Gertrude Sexton, a doctor. From Shrewsbury School he entered Clare College, Cambridge, and in 1932 graduated with first class honours in the natural science tripos. His clinical training was at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where he later became a house physician. His interests were academic, taking him first to University College Hospital with a MRC postgraduate studentship in 1937 (converted the next year to a fellowship) and then to the Nuffield department of clinical medicine at Oxford where he held a Nuffield research studentship during 1938 and 1939. When war broke out he joined the Army, serving in the 16th General Hospital which moved to France in 1940. Back in the UK he became a medical specialist to the 38th General Hospital and went to India with them in 1942, serving there in various hospitals until 1945. He was demobilized as a lieutenant-colonel in the RAMC.

He returned to Oxford as a Nuffield postgraduate assistant. In 1946 he was appointed senior lecturer in medicine at the University of Sheffield where he studied the inhibition of water diuresis by ischaemic muscle pain in men. Despite his interest and early distinction in medical science he felt drawn to a career in clinical medicine. From 1950 until his retirement 22 years later he was a consultant physician to the West Hertfordshire Hospital Group. He retained his interest in teaching and would give tutorials for the MRCP examination at his home in the evenings. He also took his share of administrative tasks.

In 1948 Kelsall married another doctor, Margaret Miller, and they had one son and three daughters, one of whom, Janet, entered medicine. On retiring he and his wife moved to Sherborne, Dorset, where he was able to pursue his hobbies of historical biography and gardening. The time he devoted there to research in local history and his skill in communicating the results combined to keep him in demand as a public speaker.

J M T Willoughby

[Brit.med.J., 1994,309,1154]

(Volume X, page 275)

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