Lives of the fellows

George Johnson Langley

b.16 February 1882 d.31 August 1964
MBE(1919) MB BS Lond(1904) MD Lond(1905) *FRCP(1932)

George Langley, the son of George Richard Langley, a banker, of London, and Amelia, daughter of John Johnson, a military tailor, of Dover, was born in Islington and educated at Sandwich School in Kent, Merchant Taylors’ School, and St. Thomas’s Hospital, from which he graduated with honours and the Mead medal in medicine. In 1906, after house appointments at his parent hospital and at Great Ormond Street, Brompton, and the York Road Lying-in Hospitals, he went into general practice, first at Retford in Nottinghamshire and then at Doncaster in Yorkshire. From 1914 to 1916 he was in charge of a small auxiliary hospital attached to the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, where his work on trench nephritis was recognised in the award of the M.B.E. He then served in Mesopotamia as chief of the pathological laboratory of the 40th British General Hospital, and later as bacteriologist to the Central Laboratory in Basra until 1920, when he was elected to the staffs of the Ancoats and Salford Royal Hospitals, Manchester, as honorary physician. For a time he was dean of post-graduate studies at the University.

Langley was gifted with an original mind and boundless enthusiasm, but had a restlessness that prevented him from following his many interests to useful conclusions. Although he was known mainly as a successful consultant cardiologist, he published papers on a wide range of subjects from pneumonia and diabetes to liver abscess and unilateral disease of the kidney. He was provocative and stimulating in debate, but his tendency to be over-erudite in conversation sometimes alienated him from his colleagues. In 1907 he married Mabel Rose, daughter of Walter Ryder, a Government clerk. She died in 1942, and in 1943 he married Elsie, daughter of Sir Alexander Porter, a barrister. There were no children of either marriage.

Richard R Trail

* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."

[Brit.med.J., 1964, 2, 763; Lancet, 1964, 2, 701-02.]

(Volume V, page 238)

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