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Biographical entry Young, Alfred Harry (1852 - 1912)

MRCS Dec 9th 1880; FRCS Dec 9th 1880; MB CM Edin 1876; LLD Edin.

23 February 1912
Anatomist and General surgeon


Born at Warrington. He studied at University College, Liverpool, and at Edinburgh, where after graduation he acted as Junior Demonstrator of Anatomy under Sir James Russell and as Senior Demonstrator under Sir William Turner.

Young then went to Manchester in 1877 as Demonstrator of Anatomy and Assistant Lecturer at Owens College under Professor Morrison Watson. After two years he resigned to become Pathological Registrar at the Manchester Royal Infirmary After two further years he was made Medical and Surgical Registrar, and finally for one year Surgical Registrar only. He was next appointed Surgeon to the Manchester Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest, and in 1883 he became Surgeon to the Salford Royal Hospital. He was apt to speak out his mind forcibly, yet he would often afterwards take up a conciliatory attitude, but in 1882 he failed to be elected Assistant Surgeon to the Royal Infirmary, and showed some resentment. There was friction between Owens College and the Surgeons of the Infirmary which led the Surgeons to resign their teaching posts at the College. Young was appointed in 1885 Professor of Anatomy on the death of Professor Morrison Watson, and soon after became Dean of the Medical School.

Young from the beginning had carried out much research in human and comparative anatomy, but he was less successful as a lecturer because he spoke too fast and lectured above the heads of elementary students. As an examiner in anatomy he sometimes seemed not to seek the student's knowledge, but rather how much the student had to learn. His post as examiner in anatomy included the Conjoint Fellowship Examination at the College, also at the Universities of Oxford, London, Birmingham, and Liverpool. For some years he represented the Victoria University on the General Medical Council, and for a time acted as Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

He numbered among his Assistants Professor Paterson, of Liverpool; Professor Robinson, of Edinburgh; Professor P Thompson, of Birmingham; and Professor William Wright, of the London Hospital.

In later years Young devoted much time to the anatomy and development of the blood-vessels. Ill health compelled him to resign his professorship in 1909, and after a long illness he died at his home at Didsbury on Feb 23rd, 1912. He was survived by Mrs Young and one daughter.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England