Administrative / Biographical History

MB ChM Sydney 1893, MD 1895 (Gold medal); FRS 1907.

Grafton Elliot Smith was professor of anatomy at the University of Manchester and at University College Hospital who made pioneering changes to the teaching of anatomy. He was born in Grafton, New South Wales, on 15 August 1871, and gained his medical education at the University of Sydney. Smith spent a year in junior hospital appointments before returning to the University as demonstrator of anatomy, in which post he published a large amount of research, particularly on neurology of the mammalian brain. He came to England in 1896 and became a research student at Cambridge where he continued his research, and also prepared a new catalogue of the mammalian and reptilian brains in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1900 he was appointed to the new chair of anatomy at the Medical School in Cairo, where he became interested in the human remains of ancient Egyptians, developing into an interest in anthropology and human evolution. Smith came to Manchester in 1909 as chair of anatomy. During the war he made important contributions to the study of shell shock and developed an increasing interest in psychology. Grafton Elliot Smith was also Dean of the Medical School. He remained in Manchester until 1919 when he was appointed chair of anatomy at University College Hospital, where he built a new Institute of Anatomy. Smith was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1907, and was vice-president in 1913. He was awarded a number of honorary doctorates and fellowships and was president of the Anatomical Society in 1924. Smith was knighted in 1934. Smith died on 1 January 1937.

Related Material

See also MMC/1/SmithGE.

JRUL has custody of a small collection of papers relating Smith (GB 133 GES). In addition the (uncatalogued) George Campion Papers include correspondence between Campion and Elliot Smith.