Lives of the fellows

Edwin Bramwell

b.11 January 1873 d.21 March 1952
MB ChB Edin(1896) MD Hon LLD Hon MD Melb FRCP Edin FRCP(1907) FRS Edin

Edwin Bramwell was born at North Shields, the eldest son of Sir Byrom Bramwell, F.R.C.P. He went to Cheltenham College for his education and studied medicine at Edinburgh University. Having taken the M.B, Ch.B, degrees in 1896, he held resident appointments at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic in London and travelled abroad to study at Freiburg, Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Paris. It was in 1900 that he settled in consulting practice in Edinburgh and two years later that he was elected assistant physician at Leith Hospital. In 1907 he received the same appointment at the Royal Infirmary, where he had already acted as a tutor and where twelve years later he was to be made a full physician. He lectured for the Extra-Academical School of Medicine and in 1906 became the first secretary of the Edinburgh Postgraduate School of Medicine. In 1919 he was appointed University lecturer on neurology and three years afterwards succeeded to the Moncrieff Arnott chair of clinical medicine. During the war years, 1914 to 1918, he was attached to the 2nd Scottish General Hospital, becoming an authority on shell-shock. He resigned his appointments in 1934 but remained in practice for some years.

Bramwell’s fame as a neurologist spread far and wide, not only through the medium of his many articles in textbooks, but as a result of his success both as a diagnostician, particularly in the field of functional abnormalities, and as a clinical teacher of rare thoroughness and exacting standards. Among the honours which he received were the presidency of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, whose Morison lectures he had delivered in 1917 and 1918, and invitations to deliver the Bradshaw Lecture of 1925 and the Croonian Lectures of 1937 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. He gave the Halford oration at Canberra in 1935. Bramwell’s favourite pastime was fly-fishing, and he wrote articles for the Fishing Gazette under the pseudonym of " The Professor". He married Elizabeth Cummin, daughter of Professor D. J. Cunningham, F.R.S, and had two sons and four daughters. His younger brother is J. Crighton Bramwell, F.R.C.P. He died at Edinburgh.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1952; B.M.J., 1952; Times, 25 Mar. 1952]

(Volume IV, page 482)

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