Lives of the fellows

Arthur Pearson Luff

b.6 November 1856 d.1 May 1938
CBE(1919) BSc Lond(1883) MD DPH Glasg MRCS LSA FRCP(1896) JP

Arthur Luff was born in London, the son of Richard Luff, and was educated at the Western Grammar School and the Royal College of Science, where he took the degree of B.Sc. in 1883. He was a medical student at St. Mary’s Hospital and achieved brilliant results in his examinations. After qualifying in 1886, he held a number of junior appointments in St. Mary’s and was assistant physician to the North-West London Hospital for a short time. In 1887 he was made lecturer on medical jurisprudence and toxicology at St. Mary’s, a post that he occupied for twenty-one years, and in 1890 he was elected assistant physician, becoming full physician six years later and consulting physician in 1913. He was, in addition, scientific analyst to the Home Office between 1892 and 1908 and appeared as an expert witness in cases of criminal poisoning. He took part in the investigations which identified the cause of the outbreak, in 1900, of peripheral neuritis among the beer-drinking population of Manchester and Salford. Luff wrote a two-volume Textbook of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1895) and was joint author, with H. C. H. Candy, of a Manual of Chemistry for Medical Students which reached a seventh edition. He examined for the Universities of London and Victoria and both Royal Colleges, and delivered the Goulstonian Lectures in 1897. He retired from practice in 1913 but returned to work in the 1914-1918 War as a lieutenant-colonel on the staff of the 3rd London General Hospital. He was created C.B.E. in 1919. Luff was precise in his methods and a worshipper of punctuality. Golf and carpentry were his favourite recreations. He married in 1893 Amy A. Leon and had a son and a daughter. He lived in retirement at Limpsfield, Surrey, where he died.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1938; B.M.J., 1938]

(Volume IV, page 389)

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