Lives of the fellows

Hugh Josolyne Glanville

b.2 February 1916 d.30 December 2011
MRCS LRCP(1942) DPhysMed Eng(1948) MRCP(1968) FRCP(1975)

Hugh Josolyne Glanville was a consultant in physical medicine in Salisbury and a pioneer of rehabilitation medicine. Born in Loftus, North Yorkshire, he was the son of Walter Josolyne Glanville, an officer in the Army, and his wife, Kathleen née Dixon. His aunt, Dr R E Glanville, had been a medical missionary in India and his brother, John Dixon Glanville became an ENT surgeon in Southampton. Educated at Hillbrow School and Marlborough College, he studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and qualified in 1942.

After house jobs at St Charles Hospital, he enlisted in the Westminster Dragoons in 1942 as a regimental medical officer and was serving in that role on D-day. Demobilised in 1946, he worked as a registrar at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington until 1947, when he became surgical registrar at St Helier Hospital in Carshalton, by then beginning to specialise in physical medicine linked to engineering, electronics and physics.

In 1949 he was appointed consultant in physical medicine and rheumatology at Winchester and Salisbury hospitals and given a team of physiotherapists, occupational and speech therapists to work with. At Salisbury District Hospital he founded the Wessex Rehabilitation Centre and also helped set up the Jo Benson Day Centre in Salisbury itself, becoming a lifelong trustee. Some 20 years after he first began his consultancy in the field, he was appointed the UK’s first professor of rehabilitative medicine at the University of Southampton Medical School in 1970. While there he helped set up a Master of Science course in rehabilitation studies and this was rapidly recognised as an essential programme for training clinical academics in the discipline. Four years later, in 1974, he was appointed Emeritus Foundation Europe professor of rehabilitation, a post endowed by the government which enabled him to provide worldwide help and expertise. He retired in 1981 but stayed involved with various medical charities and committees.

Having been involved in the early trials in Yugoslavia in the 1970s, he was the first to introduce functional electronic stimulation (FES) to the UK. This was a process which could help those who had damaged their brain or spinal cord to regain speech and mobility. When Salisbury Hospital opened the National Clinical Centre for FES in 2007, it was housed in the Glanville Centre which was named after him. Opening the new centre, the director of clinical science and engineering, Ian Swain, pointed out that, in spite of his enormous achievements, it would be as a person that he would be most missed by both patients and colleagues. In 1974 he was appointed man of the year by the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation.

Outside medicine he enjoyed fishing, listening to music, walking, photography, history and model making.

In 1951 he married Beatrice Estelle (‘Estelle’) née Carey, whose father, George was in the Navy. When he died, aged 95, Estelle survived him, together with their daughters, Margot and Felicity, and two grandchildren.

RCP editor

[The Salisbury Journal - accessed 5 October 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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