Lives of the fellows

Sidney Philip Phillips

b.27 July 1851 d.19 January 1951
MD Lond MRCS FRCP(1891)

Sidney Phillips, the son of Barnet Samuel Phillips, a Jewish business man in the City, and Phillipa Samuel, his wife, went to University College School for his education and to University College, London, for his medical training. After qualifying in 1877, he held junior appointments in University College Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Peter’s Hospital for Stone, the Middlesex Hospital and St. Mary’s. To the last of these he was elected physician to outpatients in 1884, becoming full physician in 1896; he was also appointed to the staffs of the London Fever Hospital, the Lock Hospital and the Paddington Green Hospital for Children. During the War of 1914-1918 he served in the 3rd London General Hospital as a lieutenant-colonel and, in addition, performed the duties of a special constable, being responsible for the capture of a notorious German spy. He retired to the consulting staff of St. Mary’s in 1920, but became Treasurer of the Royal College of Physicians four years later. During his fourteen years in this office, the College’s income from investments more than quadrupled. He spent the years of the Second World War at Churt, but returned to London in 1945 and died in St. Mary’s Hospital, ninety-nine years old and Senior Fellow but one of the Royal College of Physicians. Phillips was at his best when teaching at the bedside, impressing his words on his students by a mixture of gentle ferocity and caustic humour. His good-natured, lovable perversity made him the centre of many anecdotes, which he himself was not at pains to discourage. He was a keen athlete and continued to take physical exercise and to swim till his eightieth year. He was a bachelor.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1951; B.M.J., 1951; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1951, 6]

(Volume IV, page 351)

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