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Biographical entry Thompson, Harold Theodore (1878 - 1935)

MRCS 14 May 1903; FRCS 9 June 1904; BSc London 1901; MB BCh Cambridge 1903; MA MD 1906; LRCP 1903; MRCP 1904; FRCP 1911.

11 April 1878
3 February 1935
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire


Born in Liverpool, 11 April 1878, the only son and eldest child of Henry Thompson, provision merchant and company director of Liverpool and Chester, and Elinor Julia Walker, his wife. He was educated at Arundel House School, Chester, where he was captain of both elevens. He won a high place in competition for Woolwich but, having won an open entrance scholarship in mathematics at Christ's College, matriculated at Cambridge in 1896 and was admitted to the College on 13 November. He graduated BA as 16th Wrangler in 1899, and gained a first-class in part 1 of the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1900. He appeared in the BSc honours list at the University of London in 1901, and entered the London Hospital with a medical scholarship in the October of this year. Here he had a brilliant career, winning the Sutton scholarship for pathology and the Price scholarship. Whilst at Cambridge he was awarded the Horton-Smith prize for his MD thesis "On certain changes of sensation associated with gross lesions of the spinal cord".

He became assistant physician at the London Hospital and physician to the Poplar Hospital, and at the time of his sudden death was physician to the one and consulting physician to the other. He married in 1905. Elinor, daughter of Edward Waller of Alexandria, who survived him with three sons and a daughter. He died on 3 February 1935 at Longfield, Great Missenden, Bucks, aged 56, and was buried at Missenden. Thompson throughout his life exercised a quiet influence for good, which made him both respected and beloved. As a teacher he was noted for his clarity and brevity.

Intestinal toxaemia in nervous disorders, Hunterian oration before the Hunterian. Society. Lancet, 1922, 1, 1031.
Diagnosis of leptomeningioma of the spinal cord. Ibid 1929, 1, 325.
Addison's disease. Lancet, 1930, 2, 785, and with B F Russell, 1932, 2, 178. Associate author of Sir Henry Head's Studies in neurology, 1920.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 6 February 1935, p 14e, 8 and 29 February; Chester Chronicle, February 1935; Lancet, 1935, 1, 351, with portrait; Brit med J 1935, 1, 281, with portrait; information given by his son, H R Thompson, MB, MRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England