Born 26 December 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 married Lorna Treharne James of Merthyr Tydfil, 1916. They had three children, two girls and a boy. He died at Rickmansworth, 17 March 1945 and was buried in the churchyard of Llangasty, Tal-y-llyn, Brecknock.
Published date: 2001
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