Lives of the fellows

Harold Miller

b.9 September 1923 d.22 June 1996
MB BS Lond(1947) MRCP(1948) MD(1951) MRCPath(1963) FRCPath(1971) FRCP(1973)

Harold Miller was responsible for expanding and directing the Portsmouth area pathology service. He was born and educated in the East End of London. He entered the Middlesex Hospital Medical School as a state scholar in 1942, graduating in 1947. After training in all branches of pathology at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, and the Westminster Medical School he was appointed clinical pathologist to the Portsmouth Group Laboratory in 1954. He remained in Portsmouth for the remainder of his professional life, becoming a consultant in 1960.

Following the retirement of Michael Darmady [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.114] in 1968, Harold was appointed pathologist in administrative charge of the laboratories in Portsmouth. By skilled committee work, both locally and at a regional level, he managed to attract maximum funding. He expanded and directed the service with skill and considerable vigour, ensuring all departments delivered a diagnostic service of high quality and relevance and pioneering computer technology to expedite reporting. Beyond the confines of the laboratory he played a very active role in pathology in the Wessex region, serving on both the regional pathology and research committees. He was effective in the planning and commissioning of the Queen Alexandra Hospital. He was also active in the Association of Clinical Pathologists and was a founder member of the Royal College of Pathologists.

As the specialty developed Harold opted for clinical pathology and especially that related to endocrine disorders and breast pathology, all of his quality publications being in this field. The value of this work was implicit in the establishment of a Regional Endocrine Laboratory in Portsmouth in 1976.

Harold was nothing if not determined to accomplish those goals which he set in both hospital and laboratory, yet he retained a disarming warmth. Medicine was but a part of his life for he was a cultured person - well-read and with a good knowledge and appreciation of music. Other leisure pursuits were walking, camping and boating. The moments when he spoke of his exploits with his much loved wife Wendy, camping and later caravanning, were a real pleasure to share.

His achievements are all the more remarkable since he was dogged by severe chronic illness throughout his very productive life in Portsmouth. Since his early thirties he had suffered from ischaemic heart disease; later he had sarcoidosis and, for many years, rheumatoid arthritis. None of this diminished his ambition nor his dedication to all he undertook.

John Burston

[Brit.med.J., 1996,313,1141]

(Volume X, page 338)

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