Biography of John Charles Brocklehurst
John Charles Brocklehurst, a leading geriatrician who established old-age medicine as an academic discipline, graduated from the University of Glasgow MBChB 1947 and later an MD with honours 1950. He was awarded the Christine Hansen Scholarship for the session 1948-49, that required he carried out his work at Stobhill Hospital under the supervision of Professor Alstead. He also won the Bellahouston Medal in 1950 for his high quality MD thesis: ‘The aetiology and management of senile incontinence’.
John was born in Liverpool in 1924 and was educated at Glasgow High School and Ayr Academy before coming up to the University. After graduation he worked in a number of junior hospital posts before signing up as a senior medical officer on the troopship Medway. John returned to the University of Glasgow briefly to teach in the Department of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the session 1952-53. He then joined the Grenfell Mission in Labrador, Canada, as a medical officer in 1955 where he met and married nurse Susan Engle.
On returning to England in 1957 he was a consultant geriatrician in various hospitals while also carrying out research of his own. John became the foundation Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Manchester University in 1970 where he created the Unit for Biological Ageing Research, helping his department gain international recognition. During his professorship he was a pioneer in teaching and establishing training programmes for geriatrics and he created the ‘Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (1973)’: a volume that, now in its seventh edition, remains pre-eminent in its field.
Brocklehurst was president of the British Geriatrics Society (1984-86) and following retirement as emeritus he took a leading role in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons research unit (1989-98).
In his spare time John travelled widely, played the mandolin and was a talented artist. He was appointed CBE in 1988 and died in 2013 aged 89.
John Charles Brocklehurst
Born 31 May 1924.
Died 27 June 2013.
University Link: Alumnus
GU Degrees: MB ChB, 1947; MD, 1950;
Occupation categories: geriatricians
Record last updated: 7th Aug 2014