Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Class of 1913

For all the new students, we thought that it would be nice to meet the students from 100 years ago. In 1913, the School ran three sessions during the year; the 43rd session began in October 1913 and ran to December. 71 students attended, this was made up of 66 men and 5 women.

The photo shows the students along with members of staff including H B Newham, the Director and Superintendent (second row, sixth from the left). He attended the School in 1906 as a student; then became a demonstrator until he became Director in 1910. Also present is Philip Bahr (second row, fourth from left), who later married Sir Patrick Manson’s daughter and became a leader in the field of tropical medicine as Philip Manson-Bahr. Robert Mackay (standing at the far right), labelled as ‘Robert’, a laboratory assistant who served at the school from its foundation, when he was only 14, until his accidental death in 1928. His skill was already well respected within the School, especially since his discovery of the organism in the first case of human trypanosomiasis in England in 1902.

Carpenter diary
The students included HE Shortt (unfortunately absent from the photo), he came back to work at the School in 1938 as a reader in Medical Parasitology, and then as the Director of the Department of Parasitology after the Second World War. Also absent is G D Carpenter, he went to work in Uganda in the 1920s as the specialist officer in control of Sleeping Sickness and the archives has a diary written jointly between him and his wife which gives a fascinating account of life in Uganda during this period.

School in the Albert Docks
At this time the School was based in the Albert Docks in the East End, along with the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, this was so that students had access to seamen suffering from tropical diseases who had arrived back from overseas on their boats which docked in the Thames. The school offered facilities for study and research, including laboratories and insectaries that provided students with the opportunities to develop and share their knowledge. There was also an emphasis that students would not only learn how to identify and treat tropical disease but would also gain the skills to investigate illnesses.
On leaving the School, the majority of students travelled overseas, during the 43rd session, the most popular destinations were India (22 students) and West Africa (16 students).

If you would like to find out more about the history of the School or our archive collections visit our webpage here or email us at archives@lshtm.ac.uk

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