Lives of the fellows

Thomas Herbert Oliver

b.31 December 1887 d.12 January 1961
BA Cantab(1909) MB ChB Manch(1912) MA Cantab(1913) MD Manch(1919) MRCP(1920) FRCP(1931)

Thomas Herbert was the son of Thomas Andrew Oliver, a lace manufacturer, of Nottingham, and Florence, daughter of Joseph Herbert. From Rugby he went to Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. with first class honours, natural sciences tripos, and then to Manchester University with an entrance scholarship. Following house posts in medicine and surgery he was assistant director of the clinical laboratory and medical resigtrar at the Royal Infirmary before serving with a field ambulance in France in 1915 and then till 1919 as a physician in Mesopotamia with the rank of major, R.A.M.C. For a year he was a civil surgeon to the city of Basra, where his duties included the sole administration of a native hospital, three dispensaries, a plague camp and the city gaol.

On returning to Manchester he became resident medical officer, again at the Royal Infirmary, where he was elected honorary assistant physician in 1921 and honorary physician in 1934. From 1921 to 1934 he was dean of clinical studies. During these same years and until 1939 he was lecturer in medicine; then he became professor of clinical medicine until 1946, when for two years he held the chair of therapeutics. From 1930 until his retirement he was honorary consultant to the Bury General Infirmary, and for many years was examiner in medicine and therapeutics to Cambridge University.

Although at heart a scientist with a special interest in the problems of diabetes, Oliver’s approach to the patient was always that of the general physician. Kindly, courteous and ever anxious to be helpful, he was respected by general practitioners and loved by his students and colleagues. He was widely read and an enthusiast for colour photography, studies in art and architecture, while his home interests were reading, archaeology and gardening, when he retired to Sidmouth in 1952.

In 1925 he married Martha Florence, M.B. Ch.B.,daughter of Mr David Hartley Barritt, of Brentwood, Colne. They had one daughter.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1961,1, 214-15 (p); Guardian, 13 Jan. 1961; Lancet, 1961, 1, 177; Times, 17 Jan. 1961.]

(Volume V, page 312)

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