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Biographical entry Pinch, Albert Edwin Hayward (1868 - 1948)

MRCS 10 May 1894; FRCS 10 December 1896; LRCP 1894; MRCP 1926; MB BCh Bristol 1929; DMRE Cambridge 1921.

28 February 1868
14 October 1948
General surgeon and Radiologist


Born 28 February 1868, the eldest son of Felix Pinch, civil servant on the Irish establishment, and his wife, née Hayward. He was educated at King Edward's School, Bath and at Bristol University College Medical School. After clinical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital he was admitted MRCS in 1894, and was elected to the Fellowship two years later. From 1894 to 1896 he was medical tutor and assistant lecturer in physiology at University College, Bristol. He was commissioned as surgeon-lieutenant in the Indian Medical Service on 29 July 1896, becoming captain in 1899. Pinch did brilliantly both at Bristol and the Army Medical School, Netley. He gained the first entrance scholarship, the Suple scholarship, and the Clarke scholarship in medicine, surgery, and obstetrics at the Bristol Medical School: the Fayrer prize in pathology the De Chaumont prize in hygiene, the Montefiore prize in surgery, and the Herbert scholarship at Netley. He served in the Bengal Presidency as one of the last officers commissioned on the special Bengal list, but contracted plague, and was invalided home with no hope of recovery. In fact he lived for nearly fifty years. He recovered sufficiently to become resident medical superintendent of the Medical Graduates' College and Policlinic at 22 Chenies Street, London, holding the post from 1899 to 1909 during which time he was also pathologist to the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Disease of the Hip, Queen Square, Bloomsbury.

In 1908, after the King had been successfully treated by radium in Paris, Lord Iveagh and Sir Ernest Cassel presented a stock of radium for medical use in London. Sir Frederick Treves was appointed president of the Radium Institute in Riding House Street, Portland Place, established to administer this gift, and Pinch was chosen by him as resident medical superintendent and general director in March 1909. Pinch was sent on a tour of French, German, and Austrian radium institutes and clinics before taking up the post which he held till 1930. The Radium Institute was established for the treatment of patients by radium and to carry researches into the therapeutic and physical properties of radium and compounds. For this position Captain Pinch was admirably suited; urbane, tactful, and absolutely honest, he put the institute on a sound basis, which was satisfactory alike to the medical profession and to science. No patient was received until after arrangements had been made with the institute by the patient's medical attendant, while the results obtained were published annually. In these Reports Pinch included the cases where no benefit had been received as well as those which had been treated successfully, and pointed out the forms of disease which were most likely to be helped. The work of the Radium Institute was taken over by National Radium Commission in 1930, and Pinch was retired with the honorary status of consultant.

Pinch gave up his work on radium, in which he had been deeply interested and retired to Westward Ho, North Devon, where he was able to enjoy his favourite recreation of golf. He usually spent a month every year salmon-fishing in Scotland. Through the long years of retirement he was frequently in ill-health as a result of his earlier illness and the effects his work with radium. He had a severe cerebral stroke in 1946, and died of cerebral haemorrhage in Bideford Hospital on 14 October 1948, aged 80. Hayward Pinch married in August 1896 Helen Nora Poole, who survived him, but without children. He left the remainder of his fortune, after his wife's life interest, to help necessitous students at St Bartholomew's Hospital and Bristol University Medical Faculty. Mrs Hayward Pinch died on 6 January 1953.

The Radium Institute, London; a clinical index of radium therapy. London, 1925. Manual of technique in radium therapy. London, 1926. 40 plates.
Superficial radium therapy. London, 1927. 50 plates.
Radium therapy, in R Hutchison and H S Collier's Index of treatment, 1911, etc.
Die Radiumtherapie der bösartigen Hautkrankheiten, in Handbuch der gesamte Strahlenheilkunde, 2nd edition, Munich, vol 2, part 2.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Crawford's Roll of the IMS, Bengal list, No 2401; Lancet, 1948, 2, 751; Brit med J 1949, 2, 641, will; information from Mrs Hayward Pinch; this memoir is revised from a draft by Sir D'Arcy Power].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England