Lives of the fellows

Gerhard Behr

b.25 January 1914 d.10 November 2008
MRCS LRCP(1937) MRCP(1946) FRCPath(1963) FRCP(1972)

Gerhard Behr was a consultant pathologist in Burnley. He was born in Kiel, Germany, the son of Max Behr, an ENT surgeon, and Lalla Behr née Richter, the daughter of Karl Thomas Richter, a professor of economics and a pioneer of women’s rights. He began his medical studies in Germany, but, as the son of a Jewish man, he escaped persecution and fled to the UK in 1934. He continued his studies at St Bartholomew’s Medical School, qualifying with the conjoint examination in 1937.

He worked in the skin and venereal departments at Bart’s, and was then a house physician in Rochester and Coventry from 1939 to 1941. During this period he was interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man.

From 1942 to 1946 he was an assistant pathologist at the Laboratories of Pathology and Public Health, Harley Street, London. In 1946 he became an honorary pathologist at Victoria Hospital, Burnley, and a pathologist for the Public Health Laboratory, Burnley. Two years later, at the start of the NHS, he was appointed as a consultant pathologist in Burnley.

He introduced the first central sterile supply department and sterile bottled water in operating theatres. He also founded the Mackenzie Postgraduate Medical Centre in Burnley.

In 1952 he married Bernice (‘Bunny’) Stokes, a nurse. They had a son, David, and a daughter, Susan. Predeceased by his wife, he was survived by his children and four grandchildren (Lucy, Amy, David and Harriet).

RCP editor

[BMJ 2009 338 2233; Lancashire Telegraph This is Lancashire. Inspirational Burnley pathologist dies, aged 94. – accessed 26 October 2014]

(Volume XII, page web)

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