Lives of the fellows

Thomas Sidney Nelson

b.18 August 1889 d.14 October 1959
BA Oxon(1912) LMSSA(1914) MA Oxon(1921) BM BCh Oxon(1921) MRCS LRCP(1920) MRCP(1922) FRCP(1934)

Thomas Sidney Nelson, who was to become a well-known chest physician, was born in Kensington to Sidney Herbert Nelson, an engineer, and Matilda Smart. He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury, where he was a foundation scholar, at University College, Oxford, and St. George’s Hospital Medical School. From 1914 to 1918 he served in France and Italy as regimental medical officer to the 14th Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery. On demobilisation he was house physician and house surgeon at St. George’s Hospital, and then, while assistant tuberculosis officer to the city of Bristol, was granted a Radcliffe travelling fellowship on which he went to the University of Pavia and to Leysin, Switzerland. In 1923 he was appointed to the staff of Brompton Hospital and in 1926 to that of St. George’s Hospital, and also became physician to the St. Marylebone Dispensary and consulting physician in diseases of the chest to the Ministry of Pensions. By 1935 he had built up a flourishing consulting practice, so that it was a surprise to many when he resigned all these appointments and became senior consultant physician to the West Middlesex Hospital with the object of developing a new medical unit. The Second World War interfered with this plan, and so in 1942 he joined the Emergency Medical Service to work at the Upton Hospital, Slough, became consulting physician to the Teddington and Brentford Hospitals, and returned to consulting practice. His success in every post and in private work was evidence of his outstanding clinical ability.

Tom, as he was to his friends, was a man of many enthusiasms: a good and experimental photographer, an expert worker in wood and metals, and a well-known sailor at Bosham, where he designed and helped to build boats. When he retired to Haslemere in 1955 he was soon equally good at gardening. In 1923 he married Dr Grace Mary Beaven, daughter of E. S. Beaven, LL.D. They had one daughter.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1959, 2, 829; Lancet, 1959, 2, 740-41; Times, 19 Oct. 1959.]

(Volume V, page 306)

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