Lives of the fellows

John Prince Bull

b.4 January 1917 d.7 August 2008
CBE BA Cantab(1938) MRCS LRCP(1941) MB BCh(1946) MD(1951) MRCP(1964) FRCP(1969) MFOM(1980)

John Prince Bull was honorary director of the road injuries research group at Birmingham Accident Hospital. Born in Church Broughton, Derbyshire, he was the son of a farmer, Robert James Bull, and his wife, Ida Mary née Prince, whose father, John, was also a farmer. Educated at Burton-on-Trent Grammar School, he proceeded to Cambridge University and graduated BA in the natural science tripos in 1938.

His medical studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War and he joined the Emergency Medical Service in 1941 doing house appointments in London. He then became casualty research officer for the newly created Ministry of Home Security. In 1942 he joined the RAMC and, in 1944, was posted to West Africa followed by India and South-East Asia Command, gaining the rank of temporary major the next year. He was in the Military Expeditionary Force in 1946 and was then demobilised to complete his qualifications at Cambridge and Guy's.

In 1947 he joined the staff of the Medical Research Council (MRC) industrial injuries and burns unit at Birmingham Accident Hospital, becoming director of the unit five years later. From 1960 he was also honorary director of the hospital's road injuries research group.

The author of many papers on accidents and injuries, he also contributed a chapter on 'Accidents and their prevention' to W Hobson (ed) The theory and practice of public health (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1961).

He was chairman of the MRC army personnel research committee and of the working party on microwaves of the MRC non-ionising radiation committee. At Birmingham he was honorary lecturer at the university and member of the regional hospital board. Chairman of the committee on road safety of the Medical Commission on Accident Prevention, he was also chair of a laboratory trials group of the Ministry of Health.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed gardening and electronics.

In 1939 he married Irmgard, who was the daughter of Johannes Bross, a Burgermeister. They had four daughters. His wife predeceased him and, when he died, his daughter, Mrs Rachel Mekic, contacted the RCP.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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