Sir Brian Windeyer KBE (1909-1994)
|Interviewee||Interview date||Item Number:
(Medical Sciences Video Archive)
|Sir Brian Windeyer KBE (1909-1994)
in interview with Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Main subjects discussed: radiotherapy; Middlesex Hospital Medical School; Medical Schools of London University; Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney; Fondation Curie, Paris; Marie Curie; Claudius Regaud; Meyerstein Institute of Radiotherapy, Middlesex Hospital; Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex.
Sir Brian Windeyer was professor of radiology (therapeutic) from 1942 to 1969, and dean from 1954 to 1967, at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. He also served as dean of the Faculty of Medicine of London University from 1964 to 1968, and then vice-chancellor of the University from 1969 to 1972. Sir Brian begins the interview by discussing his Australian family background, education at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, and medical studies at the University of Sydney, where he was also a keen sportsman, rowing in the college crew and playing rugby in the university team. Sir Brian then talks of interviewing prospective medical students when he was dean at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, and of how the admission policy did not rely solely on examination results. The interview moves to the period when he was dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of London and the discussions that took place about possible mergers of the medical schools within the University. The interview then returns to his early career and Sir Brian talks of the two-year period as an assistant at the Fondation Curie, Paris, after leaving the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, where he worked in house jobs and as a radium registrar, after qualifying in 1927. He speaks of meeting Marie Curie at the Fondation Curie, and training under the direction of Claudius Regaud, one of the pioneers of radiotherapy. The interview then progresses to Sir Brian's distinguished career in radiotherapy at the Middlesex Hospital. In 1931 he was appointed radium officer at the Middlesex Hospital and he became the medical officer in charge of the Meyerstein Institute of Radiotherapy, which was created in 1936. During the war he was director of the emergency medical service radiotherapy department at Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex, and after the war he became director of the Meyerstein Institute and of the radiotherapy department at Mount Vernon Hospital. He was made the first professor of radiology (therapeutic) at the Middlesex Hospital in 1942. In the interview Sir Brian discusses with Sir Gordon Wolstenholme some aspects of radiotherapy during the early years of its development in the UK. There follows some discussion of radiological protection and mention is made of Sir Brian's chairmanship of the Radiological Protection Board.