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Biographical entry Paterson, Andrew Melville (1862 - 1919)

MRCS July 17th 1883; FRCS (elected as a Member of twenty years' standing) April 14th 1910; MB CM Edin (1st class honours) 1883; MD (with Gold Medal) 1886.

13 February 1919


Born at Manchester in 1862, the son of the Rev J C Paterson, Presbyterian Minister; studied at the Manchester Grammar School and Owens College, then proceeded to Edinburgh, where he graduated MD brilliantly with a thesis on the "Spinal Nervous System of the Mammalia". He then acted as Demonstrator of Anatomy at Edinburgh and afterwards at Owens College. In 1888 he was elected Professor of Anatomy at Dundee, and here he established a reputation as a teacher, also as a writer of anatomical articles by his work in Cunningham's Text-book of Anatomy (1902), and further by his Anatomist's Note Book and his Manual of Embryology. In 1894 he was elected to the recently founded Derby Chair of Anatomy in the University of Liverpool, and under him the Anatomical Department made great progress. Whilst Dean of the Medical Faculty from 1895-1903 he took a prominent part in the construction of the university buildings.

In spite of administrative work he made a number of contributions to anatomy, in particular on the sternum, the sacrum, and the limb flexures. In 1903-1904 he was Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology at the College and gave three lectures on "The Development and Morphology of the Sternum". He became President of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and a member of the Association of American Anatomists.

He examined in anatomy at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, and London, also for the Indian Medical Service; he was appointed to the Conjoint Board in 1912, having been elected FRCS in 1910. Although not practising, he was attracted to the mechanical aspects of surgery. He was greatly interested in the establishment of the Liverpool Dental Hospital, for which, as Treasurer, he assiduously raised funds, always regretting that dentistry was not, as other specialties, an integral part of medicine.

During the War (1914-1918) he held a commission in the RAMC, rising to Lieutenant-Colonel, first working at the Orthopaedic Centre at Alder Hay, then as Assistant Inspector of Military Orthopaedics under Sir Robert Jones, and he discharged his duties with the greatest thoroughness by organizing centres. At the same time he suffered the grievous loss of his son, Lieut Paterson, at the Battle of Jutland.

Never in robust health, he yet possessed a tireless energy. He played golf and at one time was captain of the Royal Liverpool Club. In the course of his military duties he returned from London to Liverpool, fell ill of bronchopneumonia, and died at 21 Abercromby Square on Feb 13th, 1919. His funeral at Mosely Church was attended by representatives of the City and of the University, and by many closely attached friends. He was survived by his widow (née Beatrice Eadson), a son, and three daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Jour of Anat, 1918-19, liii, 266, with portrait and bibliography. Brit Med Jour, 1919, 264. Lancet, 1919, i, 314].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England