Lives of the fellows

Robert Edward Roberts

b.17 December 1890 d.19 July 1946
BSc Liverp(1908) MB ChB Liverp(1914) DPH Liverp(1919) MD Liverp(1920) DMRE Liverp(1921) FFR(1939) MRCP(1943) FRCP(1946)

Liverpool lost a distinguished scientist and administrator in the death of R. E. Roberts at the early age of fifty-six. The son of David E. Roberts, he had been a student at Birkenhead School before entering the University Medical School, from which he qualified just in time to serve in the First World War. On his return he worked in the department of pathology before becoming assistant radiologist to the Royal Infirmary, and then radiologist in 1924, which explains in part his outstanding ability to take an academic view as well as a human one of all the difficult problems presented by his contact with general practitioners and the teaching of undergraduate and post-graduate students.

He loved discussions with his medical and surgical colleagues, and enjoyed his lectures at his home university and at the British Postgraduate Medical School (1935-8). All of them were clearly marshalled expressions of fundamental principles which set radiology in its proper place in ultimate diagnosis.

Roberts well deserved the many honourable positions he held, but never sought after: his presidency of the radiological section of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1937-8, his vice-presidency of the British Institute of Radiology in 1938-9, and his presidency of the Faculty of Radiology in 1939-40. He was honorary radiologist to many of the surrounding hospitals of Liverpool, and examined for his own and for London University as well as for the Faculty of Radiology.

It was evident three years before his death that he was doing too much, but he never showed the worry that many thankless tasks brought him, and retained his boyish zest for life and the companionship of his many friends to the end.

He married Nancy Baines, by whom he had two daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.J.Radiol., 1946, 19, 435-6 (p); Brit.med.J., 1946, 2, 211-12; Lancet, 1946, 2, 180-81 (p); Radiography, 1946, 12, 104; Sphincter, 1946, 9, 9 (p).]

(Volume V, page 351)

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