British Medical Journal/1924/William Westropp Brereton
many papers. During the past three years he held the position of registrar of the medical school (dean of the medical faculty); he came into contact with two generations of medical students, and helped to shape the policy of the College. Dr. O'Sullivan was a fine classical scholar, and always kept in close touch with the progress of modern mathematics; many men holding chairs in that subject to-day would acknowledge him to be their master. His interest in the development of mathematical research did not interfere with his devotion to philosophy and the classics, and he probably had few equals in his knowledge of cellular pathology. He was an inspiring teacher; his laboratory was a rallying point for medical students and newly qualified physicians in search of advice and guidance. In 1903 he was Vice-President of the Pathology Section at the meeting of the British Medical Association at Swansea. In his youth he was a fine athlete, and he rowed in the College eights and fours. He was a keen yachtsman and golfer, and loved a game of billiards. Dr. O'Sullivan was a man of the most lovable character: with simplicity he combined manly courage, as had frequently been displayed in his mountaineering adventures. He was one of the outstanding figures in the life of the College, and it is admitted by his colleagues that it will be hard to find a man to fill his place. The cause of his death was blood poisoning contracted on February 13th, whilst performing a post-mortem examination. He leaves a widow and four children.
JOHN McCAW, M.D.,
Physician, Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
It is with much regret that the announcement of the death of Dr. McCaw has been received in Belfast and Ulster. He had an illness about a year ago, and underwent a serious operation; from this he made a wonderful recovery and resumed his work. A short illness, however, proved fatal on February 22nd.
After studying medicine in Belfast he obtained the diplomas of L.R.C.P. and S.Ed. in 1879, and graduated M.D. of the Royal University of Ireland in 1883. Dr. McCaw's chief work was in the Queen Street Hospital for Sick Children, where he had been physician for forty-two years; and only a few weeks ago he was appointed a vice-president. He was also examiner and clinical lecturer in children's diseases in the Queen's University of Belfast, and he contributed several articles to the British Medical Journal and other professional journals. His little book, Aids to Diseases of Children, ran through five editions.
He was of a retiring nature, and several times refused the presidency of the local medical societies; but in the session of 1907–08 he held office as President of the Belfast Division of the British Medical Association and President of the Ulster Medical Society.
Dr. McCaw was much respected by many, both in the profession and among the public, and was beloved by all who had the privilege of his personal friendship. He leaves a widow and a son, Dr. Ivan McCaw, who was severely wounded in the war but is happily now nearly recovered; and deep sympathy is felt with them.
W. W. BRERETON, M.R.C.P.I.,
Formerly Professor of Surgery, University College, Galway.
We regret to report the death of Professor William Westropp Brereton, which took place on February 5th, at the age of 80. He was the son of the late W. W. Brereton, Q.C., of Dublin, a county court judge. He took the diplomas of L.R.C.P.; and S.I. and L.M. in 1865 and M.R.C.P.I. in 1890. His first appointment was demonstrator of anatomy in Queen's College, Galway, under Professor Cleveland. Later he was appointed district medical officer at Oughterard, a short distance from Galway, where he practised for over twenty years. In 1888 he was appointed professor of surgery in the Queen's College, Galway, and surgeon to the County Infirmary, positions he held up to a few years ago; and he had a large practice as a consultant.
Dr. R. L. Roe writes: My acquaintance with Professor Brereton dates from the early seventies. He was then medical officer of a very large district, one boundary of which was formed for about twenty miles by Lough Corrib, and extended as far as the picturesque mountains of Connemara, a happy hunting ground for the tourist and sportsman. Communications were long and difficult, there were repeated outbreaks of typhus and typhoid fever, and even occasionally of small-pox and famine. He had ample field for his energy in emergency operations of surgery, and obstetrics, and his services were much appreciated. Although, so far as I know, he never sent in a bill, his patients seldom forgot him at Christmastide, and on his leaving the district to take up his duties as professor of surgery in Galway they presented him with an address and a handsome monetary gift. When not engaged in professional work he was always to be found in his workshop, well fitted up with lathes and tools for fine work, many being of his own contrivance and design. He had an inventive mind and was the inventor of a device which anticipated the present-day free wheel. In the County Infirmary with his life-long friend and colleague, Professor R. J. Kinkead, he carried on most valuable work, which stimulated the generous minded citizens of the ancient city to preserve this institution through times of agitation and grave difficulty. His wife predeceased him only a little time ago. Many students will remember him as a practical minded and ever willing friend.