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Biographical entry Herbert, Herbert (1865 - 1942)

MRCS 10 April 1886; FRCS 11 June 1891; LRCP 1886.

25 February 1865
Tranmere, Cheshire
19 March 1942


Born at Tranmere, Cheshire, on 25 February 1865, the eldest son and second of the four children of Richard Sherwood, barrister and deemster of the Isle of Man, who assumed the name of Herbert in 1876. He was educated at Liverpool and at the Leeds Medical School, and took the English Conjoint qualification in 1886.

He was commissioned as surgeon in the Indian Medical Service, on the Bombay list, on 31 March 1887. He saw active service in East Africa and Somaliland in 1890 with the Zaila field force in the Husain Zariba affair. In 1891 he took the Fellowship, and was promoted major IMS on 31 March 1899, and lieutenant-colonel on 31 March 1907, retiring on 20 October 1907. Herbert specialized as an ophthalmologist, being from 1897 ophthalmic surgeon to the Jamsetji Jijibhai Hospital, Bombay, and a Fellow of Bombay University, and professor of ophthalmic surgery at Grant Medical College.

On his return to England in 1908 he was appointed surgeon to the Midland Eye Infirmary at Nottingham, and was subsequently consulting surgeon. During the war he rejoined the IMS, serving from October 1914 to 1 April 1919 in hospital ships, at the Indian Hospital at Brockenhurst, and in India. He then settled at 6 Southview Drive, West Worthing, Sussex, becoming consulting ophthalmic surgeon to the Worthing Hospital and consulting pathologist to the Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton. He was a vice-president of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom.

Herbert made his mark as an acute and original observer, and as an operator and inventor of operative techniques. He described "Herbert's pits" in the cornea of trachomatous patients, and his second, "trap-door" method of sclerotomy in glaucoma met with wide approval. His publication on superficial punctate keratitis was one of the earliest, and he was the first to record the presence of eosinophil cells in vernal catarrh.

Herbert married in 1899, and was survived by two daughters and two sons, one of whom, Major Gerald Herbert, RAMC, FRCS 1931, was surgeon to St Cross Hospital, Rugby. He died on 19 March 1942, aged 77.

Changes produced in the conjunctiva by chronic inflammation. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1899, 19, 17.
Colloid degeneration of conjunctiva. Ibid 1902, 22, 261.
A distinctive conjunctival papule. Ibid 1912, 32, 199.
The practical details of cataract extraction. London, 1902; 2nd edition, 1903. Cataract extraction. London, 1908.
Superficial punctate keratitis in Bombay. Brit med J 1901 2, 1165.
Superficial punctate keratitis associated with an encapsuled bacillus. Ophthal Rev 1901, 20, 339.
The micro-organism of Indian superficial punctate keratitis. Brit J Ophthal 1931, 15, 633.
The sinuous lid border, a sign of trachoma. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1907, 27, 38. Lower corneal plaques. Ibid 1908, 28, 251.
Corneal pitting. Brit J Ophthal 1935, 19, 261 and 600.
Subconjunctival fistula formation in the treatment of primary chronic glaucoma. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1903, 23, 324.
The filtering cicatrix in the treatment of glaucoma. Ophthalmoscope, 1907, 5, 292.
Small flap incision for glaucoma. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1910, 30, 199.
Interim report on the small flap sclerotomy. Ibid 1911, 31, 202.
The ideal glaucoma incision. Proc Roy Soc Med 1913-14, 7, ophthalmology, p 127.
The future glaucoma operation. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1919, 39, 218.
An improved iris prolapse operation for glaucoma. Brit J Ophthal 1920, 4, 216. Small flap sclerectomy (rectangular flap sclerotomy). Ibid 1920, 4, 550 and 1922, 6, 65.
Some late glaucoma results. Ibid 1921, 5, 417.
A justification of the wide iris prolapse for glaucoma. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1921, 41, 239.
The operative treatment of glaucoma. London, 1923.
A new glaucoma theory. Trans Ophthal Soc UK 1925, 45, 333.
An iris inclusion operation for glaucoma. Ibid 1926, 46, 326.
The future of iris inclusion in glaucoma. Brit J Ophthal 1930, 14, 433.
Iris inclusion for chronic glaucoma. Ibid 1934, 18, 142.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Crawford's Roll of the IMS, Bombay list, no 1087; Brit med J 1942, 1, 627; Leeds Univ Med Soc Mag 1933, 3, 89; Brit J Ophthal 1942, 26, 238; Arch Ophthal 1942, 28, 339, eulogy by Arnold Knapp, MD, New York; information from his son, Major Gerald Herbert, FRCS].

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