Friday, July 11, 2008

Dr Hyacinth Bernard Wenceslaus Morgan

Dr Hyacinth Bernard Wenceslaus Morgan was born 11th September 1885 to "poor Irish" parents in the West Indies (Grenada). He worked in the islands Civil service until, when aged 20 with just a few pounds in his pocket went t0 Scotland in 1904 to study medicine at Glasgow University, winning bursaries and scholarships along the way.

While at University he was active in the Fabian Society and founded a students Irish Nationalist Club.

Upon graduating in 1909, his medical experience included clinical work at Glagow mental hospitals.

After service in France as a RAMC doctor in World War One, he sacrificed prospects of a fine medical career to become a Labour member of parliament

After demobilisation he established a GP practice at Greenwich.

He stood as a Labour candidate in Greenwich for the London County Council, but after moving to Camberwell contested the North Camberwell constituency in 1922, where Dr Macnamara (Liberal) was the sitting MP for the previous 20 years. Morgan contested the seat again in 1923 (lost by 88 votes) and 1924 before being elected in 1929 with a 2,500 majority.

He did not contest the 1931 general election instead he devoted himself to to the cause of Industrial Medicine and was acknowledged as a pioneer in Industrial Medicine.

He was appointed Medical Adviser to the Trades Union Congress, Post office workers Union and numerous British Medical Association committees.

In 1936 Dr Hyacinth Morgan (especially as a Roman Catholic) was central (along with Dr Charles Brook)in the establishment of the Spanish Medical Aid Committee (SMAC) in August 1936 to provide medical aid to the Republican cause in Spain. SMAC's headquarters were at the National Trade Union Club, 24 New Oxford Street, London.

He was re-elected to Parliament in a by-election in 1940 for the constituency of Rochdale. In 1950 he switched to Warrington, where he was relected in 1951 but did not seek re-election at the next general election.

He served as a member of the Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE) National Executive Committee and COHSE's Medical Guild from 1946-1951.

Dr Morgan had GP practices at Greenwich, Camberwell and finally Paddington

He first meet his future wife, a nurse Mary Powell (from St Harmon's, Radnorshire, Wales) in 1912 when he was working at Park Hospital, Hither Green but political and religious objections from her parents delayed marriage for 18 years

He had two daughters

Dr H.W.B. Morgan died Monday 7th May 1956 aged 70