Lives of the fellows

Joseph Erulkar

b.25 March 1917 d.21 February 2008
MB BS Durh(1944) DCH(1951) MRCP(1952) DPM(1957) FRCP(1973) MRCPsych

Joseph Erulkar was a consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Born in Bombay, India, he was the son of Abraham Solomon Erulkar, a consultant physician, and his wife Kate Accles née Scott, whose father Joseph David, was a commodore captain in the merchant navy. Educated at Epsom College, he studied medicine at Durham University and the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.

He qualified in 1944, and did house jobs at the Battersea General Hospital, London. He then became fascinated by the psychological aspects of illness, so he proceeded to the Maudsley and Bethlem hospitals to train in psychiatry. Influenced by some charismatic teaching while he was there, he decided to specialise in child and adolescent psychiatry. In 1960 he was appointed a consultant child psychiatrist to the Manchester Regional Hospital Board. Initially he was based at the Booth Hall Hospital, and then, in 1968, he was invited to set up a new department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. While there, he also took part in the training of a long succession of future consultants in the subspecialty. An enthusiastic and inspirational teacher, many of his students kept in touch with him all his life.

As a student he enjoyed swimming and boxing. Other interests were walking, reading detective stories and chess.

In 1952 he married Hazel Iroquois Scott néeTrigg, whose father George Frederick, was a master mariner. Hazel and their son predeceased him, and for many years, he shared a home with his former colleague and friend, Patricia Ainsworth, moving with the family to Lancaster in 1991.

Retiring in 1983, he continued working as an honorary consultant and medicolegal adviser until well into his 70s. He died from myocardial fibrosis.

RCP editor

[BMJ, 2008 336 1197]

(Volume XII, page web)

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