Lives of the fellows

Arthur Keith Mant

b.11 September 1909 d.11 October 2000
MRCS LRCP(1943) MB BS Lond(1949) MD(1950) MRCPath(1964) FRCPath(1967) MRCP(1977) FRCP(1982)

Keith Mant was one of the leading forensic scientists of his generation. He was born in Purley, Surrey, into a family who had been lawyers for ten generations. He was educated at Denstone College, where he excelled at rugby and shooting. He went on to study medicine at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1943. He was briefly a house officer in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary's, before being called up for service in the RAMC.

After crossing the Channel shortly after D-Day, Mant served in military hospitals in France and Germany, before volunteering for an attachment to the War Crimes Group. His first task was to exhume the bodies of Allied airmen to see if they had been executed by their captors, in breach of the Geneva Convention. He was then posted to Ravensbruck concentration camp, where he investigated reports of torture and medical experimentation on children.

After completing his investigations for the War Crimes Group, Mant returned to St Mary's, but he also started work on his doctorate, preparing a thesis on exhumations and autopsies. He was offered a post at Guy's Hospital, in the department of forensic medicine, and in 1972 he was appointed as a professor.

He was also a home office pathologist, and was involved in some of the leading criminal cases of the day, including the Teddington towpath murders of the 1950s. He also carried out an independent autopsy on Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger striker.

He retired in 1984, but continued to give lectures and work as an independent pathologist. He was also able to spend more time fishing and growing orchids. He married Heather Smith in 1947, and they had two sons and one daughter.

RCP editor

[Guy's Gazette Feb 2001; The Times 24 Nov 2000; The Independent 30 Oct 2000; The Daily Telegraph 1 Nov 2000]

(Volume XI, page 377)

<< Back to List