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Biographical entry Stopford, Sir John Sebastian Bach, Lord Stopford of Fallowfield (1888 - 1961)

Life Baron 24 July 1958; KBE 1955; Kt 1941; MBE 1920; Hon FRCS 13 October 1955; MB ChB Manchester 1911; MD 1915; Hon MA 1957; FRS 1927; FRCP 1942; Hon DSc Dublin 1937, Leeds 1939, Cambridge 1951, Liverpool 1953.

25 July 1888
6 March 1961
Arnside, Westmoreland


Born on 25 June 1888 son of Thomas Rinck Stopford of Hindley Green near Wigan, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University, graduating with honours in medicine in 1911, having gained prizes and distinctions. In 1915 he proceeded to the degree of MD with a gold medal. In 1912 he was appointed a junior demonstrator in anatomy at Manchester University, followed by senior demonstrator, then lecturer, and in 1919 succeeding Elliott Smith as Professor, which chair he held until 1937 when he became Professor of Experimental Neurology until his retirement in 1956.

During the war of 1914-18 he worked as neurologist at the 2nd Western General Hospital and at Grangemouth Hospital where he started his investigations into the anatomical basis of sensation. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University 1928-30, for two periods Dean of the Medical School, and in 1935 at the age of 46 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor. He was in addition Vice-Chairman of the Interdepartmental Committee on Medical Schools, for many years a member of the General Medical Council, a member of the University Grants Committee, and a member of the Manchester Salford and Stretford Joint Hospitals Board, which was in existence long before the inauguration of the National Health Service, and naturally with its coming he was appointed first chairman of the Manchester Regional Hospitals Board.

In many other ways he gave the benefit of his experience, as by his chairmanship of the John Rylands Library, the Manchester Royal College of Music, and the Universities Bureau of the British Empire. He was in the first list of Life Peers in 1958.

A born and bred Lancastrian he enjoyed the outdoor relaxations of the common man, football and gardening. In his youth he was a really good half-back playing for Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University. Honest and wise, he was undoubtedly a great Vice-Chancellor as well as a distinguished scientist.

In 1916 he married Lily (MB ChB Manchester 1914) daughter of John Allan of Blackburn and they had one son.

He retired first to Morecombe Bay in 1956, and died on 6 March 1961 in his sleep at his home at Arnside, Westmorland aged 72.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 7 March 1961 P 15 a-b with portrait, and 29 May 1961 Will; .Nature 1961, 190, 391 by G A G Mitchell; Biog Mem FRS 1961, 7, 271-279 by Sir W E Le Gros Clark and W M Cooper; Ann Roy Coll Surg Engl 1956, 18, 65-66 by Sir Ernest Finch, on admission to Hon FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England