Lives of the fellows

Kenneth Murray Allan Perry

b.1 February 1909 d.4 September 1984
BA Cantab(1930) MRCS LRCP(1933) MB BChir(1933) MRCP(1936) MD(1938) FRCP(1948)

Kenneth Perry was born in London, the younger brother of Allan Perry, a well known London Hospital surgeon. He was educated at Christ’s Hospital and Queen’s College, Cambridge, where he was a Kitchener Scholar. He carried out his clinical studies at the London Hospital, qualifying with both the Conjoint and MB in 1933. Subsequently he held a series of house appointments at the London, and became a medical registrar. He followed this with a period of research as a Dorothy Temple Cross fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and research fellow at Harvard University. In 1939 he returned to England and during the war worked for the Medical Research Council, where his research included investigation into occupational disease affecting the lungs and other organs. He was appointed a consultant physician to the London Hospital in 1946 and remained in this capacity until his retirement in 1972. In 1949 he also became a consultant to the Royal Masonic Hospital. As an expert in the treatment of tuberculosis Perry was consultant to Papworth, as well as being physician to the Brentwood and Waverley Hospitals.

He was a keen traveller and participated actively in the international medical scene, whether attending congresses of the International Society of Internal Medicine, or as an examiner. He was a corresponding member of the National Academy of Medicine in Buenos Aires, and an examiner in Hong Kong. Wherever he went he made friends, and always took a keen interest in the local and political scene in the countries he visited; it was characteristic of him to have wide interests outside medicine. He enjoyed examining, and was an examiner for the Universities of Cambridge, Liverpool and London, as well as being examiner for the Royal College of Physicians and the Society of Apothecaries.

Perry’s specialty was chest medicine, and he published many papers and edited Diseases of the Chest, London, Butterworths, 1952, with Sir Geoffrey Marshall [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.381] and Chest Diseases, London, Butterworths, with Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors (q.v.) in 1963. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Thoracic Society. He retained his interest in occupational lung disease, yet was always ready to point out the importance not only of ‘general medicine’ as such but also the need to consider the patient as a whole. Perry was a clinician with a real understanding of his patient’s problems, and also an excellent teacher who showed great interest in his junior staff, for whom he would go to infinite trouble. He had a critical eye for both the medical and political scenes, on which he held strong views. He had a particular charm of manner and a ready wit which made him many friends. He was a keen freemason and, besides his consultancy at the Royal Masonic Hospital, served on the board of governors of the Royal Masonic Institute for Boys. He was interested in young people, understanding their problems well. He always supported his juniors, taking great interest in their progress, and his advice on planning their careers was always sound.

His wife Winnie had been a ward sister at the London Hospital, and they were a devoted couple. Although they had no children of their own they took many young people under their wing. While still on the staff of the London Hospital they bought a most attractive flat near the water’s edge at Portsmouth, where they eventually retired, and many will remember their generous hospitality.

DTD Hughes

[Brit.med.J., 1984,289,929; London Hosp.Gaz., March 1973,76,(1)]

(Volume VIII, page 374)

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