Lives of the fellows

Russell John Reynolds

b.10 May 1880 d.5 November 1964
CBE(1932) MB BS Lond(1907) DMRE Cantab(1926) MRCS LRCP(1907) MRCP(1933) FRCP(1938) FFR(1939)

Russell John Reynolds was the son of Dr John Reynolds, a general practitioner in Streatham, who with Sir William Crookes constructed the X-ray apparatus now in the Science Museum, South Kensington. His mother was Caroline Harriets, daughter of Dr Trott. From Westminster School he went to Guy’s Hospital and after two years in practice with his father set up as a full time radiologist in 1920. In World War I he served with the R.A.M.C, in home hospitals until 1917 when he became electrical specialist to the Karachi Brigade in India, returning home in 1919. In 1921 he was appointed physician-in-charge of the X-ray departments of Charing Cross and the National Hospitals; his son, Seymour, succeeded him at Charing Cross in 1946, and he retired from the National Hospital in 1939.

For many years he was adviser in radiology to the Ministry of Pensions and Supply and an examiner to Cambridge University, the Conjoint Board, the Faculty of Radiologists and the R.A.M.C. On his retirement in 1946 he acted as honorary consulting radiologist to the Charing Cross, National, Samaritan, Bethlem Royal and Lambeth Hospitals, and to the Caernarvon and Anglesey Infirmary.

From 1924 he had experimented with methods of cineradiography, pioneering in photofluorography with a very wide aperture camera lens. His success brought worldwide recognition. He was president of the British Institute of Radiology and of the section of radiology of the Royal Society of Medicine, warden of the Fellowship of the Faculty of Radiologists, Hunterian professor of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1936, and was awarded the Antoine Beclere award in Paris in 1957.

In addition he was made a member of the Canadian Radiological Society, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the New York Roentgen Society, the Association of Physicians of Vienna and the Society of Radiologists of Italy; the Australian College of Radiology elected him a fellow.

He was the author of many publications, particularly in his specialised field of cineradiography which culminated in the production of the Russell Reynolds cineradiographic unit. His paper on the early history of radiology in Britain was published in Clinical Radiology (1961, 12, 136-42).

Reynolds was quiet, unassuming and kindly; his strong personality was shown only in his teaching, which brought him the enthusiasm of students and the deep respect of his colleagues. In 1908 he married Anna Thekla Henriette, daughter of Adolf Romer, a banker. They had two sons, Seymour and Stewart, both of whom became consultant radiologists.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1964, 2, 1271 (p), 1403; Charing Cr. Hosp. Gaz., 1964, 62, 233-4 (p); Clin.Radiol., 1965, 16, 191-2; Lancet, 1964, 2, 1071; Med. biol. Ill., 1966, 16, 44-7; Times, 1 Nov. 1964.]

(Volume V, page 346)

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