Lives of the fellows

Laurence Atkinson Liversedge

b.11 April 1914 d.1 March 1979
BA Manch(1938) BSc(1941) MB ChB(1944) MD Duke(1943) MRCP(1946) FRCP(1962)

Laurence Liversedge was born in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, the son of Thomas Atkinson Liversedge, sales manager of the Lancashire Steel Corporation, and Nellie Bendelow, daughter of Thomas Bendelow, a railway man. He was educated at Middlesbrough High School, Urmston Grammar School and Manchester University. At University he first read French, obtaining a BA degree with honours and then, after a short period in commerce, he returned to the University and entered medical school. He was awarded the BSc (Class 1) after second MB, and then received a Rockefeller Scholarship, and during its tenure undertook clinical studies at Duke University, USA, where he qualified MD in 1943 and did an internship in pathology in the same year. He returned to England and passed his final MB in 1944 with distinctions in medicine, surgery and pharmacology.

After qualification he was house physician to Crichton Bramwell and then chief assistant to Fergus Ferguson until February 1946. He served in the Middle East during the period 1947 -1949, holding the rank of major, and was graded as a medical specialist and neurologist. On leaving the Army he resumed neurological training, when he worked as registrar in the pathology department in the National Hospital, Queen Square, under JT Greenfield. In 1950 he returned to Manchester Royal Infirmary and the University as lecturer in neurology, under Fergus Ferguson. In 1957 he was given an honorary consultant appointment to the Royal Infirmary and continued in this post until 1964. He was then appointed as neurologist to Crumpsall Hospital and the Royal Infirmary. Later his duties were confined to neurologist to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, and he retained this position until his death.

Liversedge’s mark as a neurologist was the contribution he made to the art and science of clinical neurology. He wrote on many diverse subjects, including the management of myasthenia gravis, occupational cramp, the treatment of spasticity by phenol, and the use of ophthalmodynamometry in cerebral vascular disease. He was a clinician of outstanding ability, but his qualities as a teacher of undergraduates and young neurologists in training were unrivalled. His lectures were models of clarity, being laced with wit and humour, but always demonstrating the art of clinical medicine.

Laurie was a man of abundant energy, being a founder member of the North of England Neurological Association, and in later years devoted much time and energy to the promotion of the interests of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

He had been a distinguished athlete in his youth, playing cricket, association and rugby football, and representing the University in all three sports. He was prominent in the affairs of the Students’ Union, serving a term as president, and demonstrating an outstanding ability in public debates.

In 1941 he married Peggy Mason, a solicitor, who was to become a distinguished member of the legal professsion in Manchester. They had two sons and one daughter.

EC Hutchinson

[Brit.med.J., 1979, 1, 827; Lancet, 1979, 1, 624, 683]

(Volume VII, page 339)

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