|Description||Walker was born at the Free Church manse, Dysart, Fife, on 2 August 1862. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and graduated MB CM of Edinburgh University (1884) and MD (1888), having also spent some time in Europe. His first post (1883) was as resident physician to Claude Muirhead at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. For the next five years he was in general practice in Dalston, Cumberland. He became honorary secretary and president of the Carlisle Medical Society. |
Walker then studied with the great names in dermatology. He went to its world centre in Vienna, where Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra's son, Hans von Hebra, and son-in-law, Moriz Kohn Kaposi, continued the elder Hebra's tradition. In Prague, Walker studied with Professor Filipp Josef Pick and learned the new scientific basis of dermatology in histopathology and bacteriology, which influenced his own book on skin diseases. Finally Walker became a favourite student of Paul Gerson Unna in Hamburg.
After returning to Edinburgh, Walker was appointed assistant physician to the skin department of the Royal Infirmary (1892-1906), under Allan Jamieson. When Jamieson retired, Walker became full physician, in charge of the skin wards (1906-24), and consultant physician (1925-42). He was also lecturer in dermatology in the university and Royal Colleges and had a private practice. Walker's Introduction to Dermatology, based on his lectures to undergraduates, was published in 1899. The tenth edition appeared in 1939 with Walker and G. H. Percival as authors.
Walker was the directly elected representative of Scottish practitioners on the General Medical Council (GMC) from 1906 to 1941. After being chairman of business, he was elected president in 1931 and held office until 1939. He was knighted (India Office list) in 1923.
Walker was among the first people in Scotland to receive insulin: he developed diabetes shortly after the First World War and Low (Edinburgh Medical Journal) considered that he was only saved by insulin sent to him by its discoverers from Toronto before it was available on the market. Walker died at home in Greensyke, Balerno, Midlothian, on 7 November 1942.
[Source: Dictionary of National Biography]
Contents: Papers relating to the Hospital Services (Scotland) Committee, 1920-1925; papers relating to the Consultative Council on Medical and Allied Services, 1920-1921; testimonials, 1885-1892; correspondence, articles 'Moles and Melanomata' and 'Moles, Melanotic Tumours and Carcinoma', 1920s
EXH/WAN/6 and EXH/WAN/7 were acquired and processed separately from EXH/WAN/1-5.