Edmund Hartford Burrows was a consummate neuroradiologist, the architect of the British Society of Neuroradiology, a teacher of renown and a prolific author of both radiological and historical books and papers. His urge and his ability to write led him along many paths. In 1969 he approached all the British consultant neuroradiologists to suggest the formation of a Visiting Neuroradiological Club. He received overwhelming support for the formation of a Society. A meeting was arranged by Dr James Bull on the 2nd of March 1970 which resulted in the formation of the British Society of Neuroradiology (BSNR). Dr Burrows was the first Secretary/Treasurer and in 1980 was elected its President. From 2002 the best scientific paper presented at the BSNR annual meeting will be known as the Burrows Prize.Edmund Hartford Burrows (known to all as Ted Burrows) was born at Swellendam in the Overberg region of South Africa on the 18th of February 1927. His grandfather had married into one of the great Cape families, a family which included poets, politicians, writers and translators. His parents were farmers and at the time of his death Ted still owned the family farm. He qualified in medicine at the University of Cape Town in 1951 but whilst still a medical student had demonstrated evidence of his own writing and editing skills as University correspondent to the Cape Times, Editor of the Student newspaper and contributor to the Cape Argus of a series of historical articles. These articles formed the chapters of the first volume of a Trilogy, completed after his retirement in 1994, concerned with the Overberg region. Indeed he coined the term Overberg. Prior to medical school he had been educated at the local farm school, which he attended on horseback, and at the Rondebosch High School. His first medical post was as an Intern at the Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town followed by a year as assistant Government pathologist. By 1952 he was assistant Editor of the South African Medical Journal, a post he held for a year and a post which allowed him the time to research and write a definitive book; A Medical History of South Africa, before becoming a medical officer with the South African Pneumoconiosis Board in Johannesburg with responsibilities for recruitment of miners in Europe.With this backgound in medicine and journalism and several papers on medical and historical topics Ted Burrows left South Africa in 1955 and entered the diagnostic radiological training scheme in Liverpool. He was first appointed as an unpaid trainee but managed to finance himself from a combination of savings and an ability to edit and translate from Dutch and German, in which he was fluent, into English for Excerpta Medica. His first language was Africaans. For over 20 years he served as a part time Radiology Editor for the Excerpta Medica Foundation;s journals. He later edited many congress publications and books, at the same time translating numerous medical textbooks from the German and Dutch.He rapidly developed an interest in Neuroradiology and made regular visits to Manchester where he and I were contemporaries, getting to grips with direct arterial punctures, the manipulative skills of pneumoencephalography and intracranial anatomy. He had a wonderful sense of humour and always made the process of learning a rewarding and entertaining exercise. In 1959, having obtained the DMRD (Liverpool) and the DMRD (England), he was appointed an Academic Neuroradiological Registrar in the University of London.In 1960 he gained a visiting Fellowship in Radiology at the University of Rochester in New York for a year followed by a further 18 months as a Fellow in Paediatric Radiology at the Denver Children's Hospital where, surprisingly perhaps, he developed a particular interest in urethral lesions of infancy and childhood. This was the subject of both his thesis, presented in 1963, for the degree of Master of Radiology (M Rad) in the University of Liverpool and his book Urethral Lesions in Infancy and Childhood published by CC Thomas in 1965. In 1962 he returned from the US to receive, thankfully, curative treatment of a malignancy and was appointed Senior Registrar in the Lysholm Department of Neuroradiology at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London under the tutelage of James Bull. In 1963 he married Anne. The marriage, blessed with 2 daughters, was to be the mainstay of his life thereafter. Ted arrived on the London scene with perfect timing. The new speciality of Neuroradiology was in its infancy there were only 24 Neuroradiologists in the UK - and, as a consequence, many radiologists from overseas, notably the United States, flocked to Queen Square for further training. Secondments to Stockholm and Oslo together with his junior teaching posts in the US equipped him finally for what was to be his life;s work in Neuroradiology.In 1964 Dr Burrows was appointed Consultant Neuroradiologist to a new neurosciences unit, the Wessex Neurological Centre, in Southampton serving 2.5 million people in the south of England. He held this post for the next 27 years until his partial retirement in 1992. The Wessex Centre is now part of the University of Southampton and Burrows, though a self-confessed unwilling administrator was, nevertheless, one of the successful medical negotiators in the establishment of the medical faculty in Southampton in the early 1970;s. He subsequently served in many managerial and administrative roles but still retained a direct involvement in the clinical and teaching activities of the department. His fund raising activities on behalf of the Wessex CT and MR scanning units were outstanding and raised over 3 million pounds. Throughout his career in Southampton he maintained a steady flow of publications in both neuroradiological and historical topics. Many of these were sole author papers an indication of the focused nature of his many activities. He produced about 50 original papers concerned with radiology of the nervous system but will, perhaps, be best remembered in this field by his several contributions on radioactive isotope brain scanning in the 1970;s. He was nominated and elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1971. In 1981, together with Norman Leeds, he produced a two volume textbook Neuroradiology which included some of the earliest CT scans to be reproduced in conjunction with the then conventional neuroradiological techniques. For 10 years he served as neurological editor of Clinical Radiology and as Civilian Radiology Consultant to the Royal Navy.Many of his historical publications, which continued in his retirement were concerned with investigations into his family past. They provided unique insights into the cultural development of South Africa and the links with Europe. He had always regarded himself as a fully acclimatised Englishman from his entry into the country in 1955 but identified himself especially with the Hampshire family Burrows of which, in time, he became the titular head. His book, A Hampshire Family, written with warmth and a special empathy, is a remarkable account of a remarkably talented family. Ted himself became an authority on 18th and 19th century naval history and naval exploration and for the work in this field was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His research for all his publications was meticulous. His book Pioneers and Early Years A History of British Radiology remains an encyclopaedic reference work for anyone concerned with medical history. In retirement Dr Burrows was Director of the Midhurst MR scanning unit. His final illness did not stop him writing nor did it interfere with his many diverse interests.Edmund Hartford Burrows (1927-2002), Neuroradiologist, Historian and Geographer died on the 9th of February at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife Anne, 2 daughters, Emma and Charlotte, and a grand daughter Molly.
Dr Edmund Hartford Burrows
Obituaries - Clinical radiology
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Dr Edmund Hartford Burrows
18/02/1927 to 09/02/2002