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Biographical entry Kerr, Alan Livingston (1901 - 1943)

MRCS and FRCS 11 June 1931; MB ChB Liverpool 1924.

6 May 1901
Wallasey, Cheshire
1 April 1943
West Africa
General surgeon


Born 6 May 1901 at Wallasey, Cheshire, son of James Kerr, cotton merchant of Liverpool, and Elizabeth Beckett, his wife. He was educated at Birkenhead School and Liverpool University, where he was demonstrator of anatomy and served successively as house surgeon, house physician, resident surgical officer and surgical tutor at the Royal Infirmary. He was later clinical assistant at the Princess Louise Hospital for Children, Kensington.

Kerr practised at Sutton, Surrey, in partnership with John Crawford and Alan Strachan, living at 8 Cedar Road, Sutton, and was surgeon to the Sutton and Cheam General Hospital and medical officer to Rosehill School, Banstead. He was much interested in orthopaedics, and in the physical development of normal school children. Kerr married on 17 September 1930 Ellen Speight, who survived him with two sons. During the second world war he served as a surgeon specialist with the rank of major, RAMC, at the 55th General Hospital, West African Force. He died in West Africa at midnight, 31 March-1 April 1943, from head injuries he had received when knocked down by a motor car on the night of 27 March, and was buried there.

Kerr was a man of great thoroughness with a keen interest in social efficiency. He reorganized the note-taking and filing system at the Sutton and Cheam Hospital, when appointed surgeon there, was an active member of the Sutton and District Medical Society, and had served on committees of PEP (Political and Economic Planning), a London society of voluntary social investigators, and collaborated in its report on the Public health services, published in 1937. He was an advocate of social medicine as encouraging good family life, and studied the problems of rehabilitation and the reorganizing of general practice.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1943, 1, 634 with portrait; further information given by Mrs A L Kerr and by Dr John Crawford].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England