Dr Mary Catterall

  • Catterall, Mary
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


These papers reflect Dr Catterall's career in medicine, with particular emphasis on her work on neutron therapy at the Medical Research Council Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital/the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, and the controversies around this form of treatment. They also contain some material on her work as a sculptor.



Physical description

3 boxes



A Personal and Career, 1939-2009
B. Neutron Therapy, 1974-2008
C. Publications and papers, 1959-1996

Acquisition note

Received from Dr Catterall, March 2009

Biographical note

12 Jul 1922 Born Eileen Mary Williamson
Educated St Helen's, Northwood, Middlesex
1939-1941 worked as despatch rider for Home Guard, tractor driver, poet, sculptor, and playwright
1941 studied physiotherapy at the Swedish Institute and St Mary's Hospital Paddington
1943 qualified as physiotherapist, at that time work of national importance, and started correspondence course towards first MB while employed in that capacity
1947 passed first MB, entered London Hospital Medical School as one of 7 women and 70 men
1952 qualified MB BS
1953 Senior House Officer in Radiotherapy Department at the London
1957 married Dr R Duncan Catterall
1959 moved to Leeds when her husband obtained a consultant post in charge of the Genito-Urinary Medicine Department at Leeds Infirmary
1960 appointed Senior Registrar in Respiratory Medicine at Leeds General Infirmary
Developed the new improved "MC" oxygen mask (patented 1961)
1961 drew attention to the serious levels of air pollution in Leeds
1963 husband appointed director and physician in charge of Genito-Urinary Medicine Department, Middlesex Hospital: return to London
1963-1969 Senior Registrar in Radiation Oncology, Middlesex Hospital, London
1964 her film on smoke pollution "It Takes Your Breath Away" won Silver Award in BMA Film Competion
1965 published her reports on respiratory-function tests in miners critical of the criteria used by the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit to determine eligibility for compensation, arousing much opposition among The Establishment
1968 passed the Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists
1969 appointed Consultant Radiotherapist at Hammersmith Hospital
1970-1987 Consultant in charge of Fast Neutron Clinic, Hammersmith Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, Royal Postgraduate Medical School
1971 first trip to the USA
1979 Publication of Mary Catterall and David K Bewley, Fast Neutrons in the Treatment of Cancer (London: Academic Press/New York: Grune and Stratton)
1981 Visit to Japan
Made an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Radiology
1982 Award of Honorary Doctorate, University of Durham
1985 Close-down of the Hammersmith Cyclotron
1988 Grant of £6 million to the Cyclotron Trust towards a cyclotron at St Thomas's': attacks in press
1992 Adapted version of the MC oxygen mask used during the Falklands War
1998 Sculpture exhibition "The Madness and the Goodness": A tribute to the British Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Works in Bosnia
2003 Willow Cottage Gardens and Studios opened to visitors from various institutions for the blind and those with head injuries
2005 award Cross of St Augustine by the Archibishop of Canterbury
2008 5 of her Bosnian sculptures acquired by the National Army Museum

Related material

Other material relating to the Medical Research Council Cyclotron Unit at Hammersmith Hospital can be found in its archives SA/MCU, and in the papers of Constance Annie Poyser Wood, GC/95 and John Winston Gallop, GC/160, the archives of the Strangeways Research Laboratory, SA/SRL and the papers of F G Spear, PP/FGS

Terms of use

This collection has been catalogued and is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records.

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