Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LEWIS , Sir THOMAS ( 1881 - 1945 ), physician ;

b. 26 Dec. 1881 , third of five children of Henry Lewis , mining engineer of Tŷ-nant , Taff's Well , near Cardiff , and his wife. He was educated privately at Clifton College ; University College , Cardiff ; University College Hospital , London , and became a student demonstrator in anatomy and physiology at Cardiff . He took an Hons. B.Sc. (Wales) in 1902 , and qualified in medicine in 1904 , gaining the University Medal and medals at the college and the D.Sc. (Wales) in 1905 . He became assistant physician , and then consulting physician to University College Hospital , consultant in heart diseases to the War Office during World War I , and honorary physician to the Ministry of Pensions . He became F.R.C.P. in 1913 , F.R.S. in 1918 , giving the Croonian Lecture to the society in 1917 , and was awarded its Royal Medal in 1927 , the Copley Medal in 1941 , the Conway Evans Prize in 1944 , and was elected vice-president for 1943-45 . He was appointed C.B.E. in 1920 and was knighted in 1921 . He was offered (but declined) the chair of Regius Professor of Physic in Cambridge in 1932 , and gave the Harveian Oration in 1933 . He gained world-wide reputation as a physiologist and clinical scientist , and was awarded honorary degrees by the Universities of Wales , Liverpool , Sheffield , Birmingham and Michigan . He was a member or fellow of many foreign societies and universities. He became the first full-time clinical researcher for the Medical Research Committee (now Council) when the Department of Clinical Research was set up in 1916 . A foremost research worker on the action of the human heart , he was one of the first to use the electrocardiograph . He was author of about 240 papers and 12 volumes on the heart, blood vessels and pain, books that saw many editions and were translated into a number of European languages. He edited Heart and founded and edited Clinical Science . He was a keen naturalist and bird photographer . He m. Lorna Treharne James of Merthyr Tydfil , 1916 . They had three children, two girls and a boy. He d. at Rickmansworth , 17 March 1945 and was buried in the churchyard of Llangasty , Tal-y-llyn, Beckn.


  • British Medical Journal , 1945 , 1, 461;
  • full list of honours, books and papers in Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society (London, 1932-54) , 1945 ;
  • [ Who was who? ].


Owen Elias Roberts, (1908-2000), Liverpool

Published date: 2001