Holmes, Gordon Morgan

HOLMES, Sir Gordon Morgan, FRS (1876-1965)


Sir John Gordon Holmes, a neurologist, was born in Dublin on 22 February 1876, son of a Castlebellingham farmer. He was educated at Dundalk Academy and at Trinity College Dublin, graduating in medicine in 1897. Following short periods abroad, he became a resident medical officer at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London and in 1906 was appointed director of clinical research, collaboration with Henry Head (1861-1940) leading to the first accurate account of the functions of the optic thalamus and its relation to the cerebral cortex.

On the outbreak of WW1, Holmes was appointed consultant neurologist to the British Expeditionary Forces and, in a field hospital, had the opportunity to investigate the effects of lesions in specific regions of the brain on balance, vision and bladder function. His observations on gun-shot wounds re-awakened his interest in cerebellar disease and this led to his classical analysis of the symptoms of cerebellar lesions.

Homes introduced to England the painstaking physical examination of a neurologist and his systematic collection of clinical data and its correlation with anatomy and pathology.

Gordon Morgan Holmes died in Farnham, Surrey on 29 December 1965.


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