Sir James Barrett's Reminiscences


    SIR JAMES BARRETT, chancellor of the University of Melbourne, has contributed to The Herald (Melbourne) during April and May of this year a series of reminiscences which deal with the history of old Melbourne and its University and Hospital, early days in London and on the Continent, recollections of the Great War, and education and university extension in Great Britain and the United States. Born and spending his boyhood in old Melbourne, when there were toll gates on the St. Kilda Road, Sir James entered the University there when he was fifteen years old, and graduated in the medical faculty in 1881. He recalls the kindly assistance given to students by Prof. Halford, who taught anatomy, physiology and pathology, at a time when the University had only two hundred students with five professors to teach them, and describes medical practice in Melbourne Hospital in those pre-antiseptic days. He proceeded to London in 1883, obtained the fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, became demonstrator of physiology in King's College, London, under Gerald Yeo, and commenced his career as an ophthalmic surgeon as assistant at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Interesting recollections are given of Bowman, McCarthy and Michael Foster, Gaskell and Langley, and Jonathan Hutchinson and Whittaker Hulke, all well-known figures in the medical world of the time ; he also visited the Continent, and met Koch in Berlin. Then come recollections of the Great War, and the organization of the medical service in Egypt. The organization of “bush nursing centres” in Australia is recounted, a scheme initiated in 1908 by the Countess of Dudley, and finally, Sir James has a good deal to say upon education and university extension, and recalls some of his meetings with British statesmen.

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    Sir James Barrett's Reminiscences. Nature 142, 244–245 (1938).

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