Lives of the fellows

William Ernest Lloyd

b.26 July 1898 d.26 May 1975
MRCS LRCP(1921) MB BS Lond(1923) MRCP(1924) MD(1925) FRCP(1934)

William Ernest Lloyd was born in Swansea, the son of Daniel Lloyd JP, a master builder who constructed many of the more impressive buildings of the city. His mother, bom Jane Peregrine, was the daughter of a farmer living in Tumble, Llanelly. He was educated at Bishop Gore’s Grammar School, Swansea, and had attended St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, for only one year as a medical student when at the age of 19, in 1917, he had a severe haemoptysis and was found to have pulmonary tuberculosis. He was treated at home for a year on rest and full nutrition, raw eggs and milk being a regular part of his diet. Making an excellent recovery he continued his studies in Wales for one year, then at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.

After qualification he became house physician to Francis Fraser at Bart’s and later medical registrar at Westminster Hospital, where a fellow Welshman, Clement Price Thomas, was surgical registrar: both were appointed to the staff in 1926-1927. He was also subsequently appointed consultant physician to the Royal Masonic, the Connaught, the Bolingbroke, the Brompton and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton.

These appointments with undergraduate teaching duties, acting as Censor to the Royal College of Physicians (1954-1955) and as examiner in medicine for different degrees and diplomata, kept him fully occupied so that his vivacious and delightful wife, Olive, and his two sons saw less of him than would have been the case had he not devoted himself so completely to his patients. At the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest (which was his particular specialty and main medical interest) his very large out-patient clinic was held on a Saturday so that he rarely got home before the early evening, but in every way he was a model father and husband. Pressure of routine work and service to his patients also left him little time for original work or writing, and his name was hardly known outside Great Britain. In 1951 he gave the Mitchell Lecture to the College on ‘Pulmonary tuberculosis in young adults; observations on minimal lesions revealed by routine radiography’, a subject of particular interest to him.

It is interesting to note the great effect the year of enforced idleness from tuberculosis disease had on him in his most impressionable years. Rest was the basis of the treatment of tuberculous disease in those days and the results in his own case convinced him of its essential virtue, and when surgical treatment of tuberculosis became the fashion he remained essentially conservative, preferring the medical approach based on local rest of the lung by artificial pneumothorax and prolonged bed rest.

He was a man much loved and much respected, not only by his colleagues and many friends but also by his numerous patients. He remained Welsh in manner and appearance and never lost, and never intended to lose, his Welsh accent. He had a valuable collection of Swansea and Nantgarw china, of which, with his excellent collection of postage stamps, he was very fond and very proud. An excellent and industrious clinician, he was essentially his patients’ personal physician rather than a remote medical scientist.

F Dudley Hart

[, 1975, 2, 690; Lancet, 1975, 1, 1304; Times, 12 June 1975]

(Volume VI, page 297)

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