Lives of the fellows

Henry Marrian Joseph Perry

b.11 March 1884 d.23 March 1955
OBE(1919) CB(1937) LRCPI & LM(1906) LRCSI & LM(1906) *FRCP(1941)

Henry Marrian Joseph Perry, son of John Perry and his wife, Katherine Hegarty, was born in Cork, and received his medical education at Queen’s College in that city. He was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps soon after qualifying, and was at once posted to the China Command. Returning to the United Kingdom before the outbreak of the First World War, he went to France with the original British Expeditionary Force, and was captured during the retreat from Mons, but repatriated after a short period. His career as a pathologist began shortly thereafter, and he became much interested in immunological reactions, on which he published several papers. He became assistant professor of pathology at the Royal Army Medical College, and in 1922, with the rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel, was appointed professor. In 1926 he was seconded to the Foreign Office to serve as director of the Egyptian Public Health Laboratory Service in Cairo, where he remained for four years. He carried out the duties of this onerous appointment with much success. Returning home in 1930, he reassumed the post of professor of pathology, and later was promoted to hold the combined appointment of professor and director of pathology. He became substantive colonel in 1934 and major-general the following year. During his term of office in these appointments he was chairman of the Army Pathology Advisory Committee and a member of the Chemical Defence Committee. From 1933 until he retired in 1940 he was Honorary Surgeon to the King.

In the earlier days of his career Perry was an enthusiastic laboratory worker, and made various contributions on bacillary dysentery, on leishmaniasis (Proc. roy. Soc. Med., 1922-3, 16, 1-8), and on the flocculation test for syphilis (J. roy. Army med. Cps, 1923,40,456). As a teacher he was outstanding. His lectures were prepared with the greatest care, both as regards substance and presentation, and were delivered word-perfect, without any reference to notes. Although he gave up personal research after his return from Egypt, he encouraged and guided those who worked under him, being associated in particular with the investigations which revealed the importance of using virulent strains of the typhoid bacillus in the preparation of vaccine. He was an efficient administrator, and played an important part in the reorganisation of the pathology services of the Army.

He married in 1912 Mary Eleanor, the daughter of Edward Griffith Brewer, who survived him. There were no children of the marriage.

Richard R Trail

* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."

[Brit.med.J., 1955, 1, 915-16 (p); Lancet, 1955, 1, 727.]

(Volume V, page 328)

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