Richard Handley was a medical graduate of the University of Manchester (1922) and took the DPM in 1928. He worked at Prestwich Mental Hospital from 1924-1933. In 1933 he became medical director of the David Lewis Epileptic Colony in Cheshire, and remained in this post until his death. Handley was a noted authority on epilepsy was a member of Epileptic Colonies Joint Committee, and advised the Ministry of Health on the care of epileptics.
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