Lord Moran (Charles McMoran Wilson) (1882-1977): archives

  • Moran, Charles McMoran Wilson, Baron (1882-1977)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The collection covers Lord Moran's life and career. It includes papers (committee minutes, correspondence, notes, printed material, ephemera, articles, parliamentary papers, etc.) re his position as Dean of St Mary's Hospital Medical School, 1920-1945; as President at the Royal College of Physicians, 1941-1950; his role in negotiations over the establishment and structure of the NHS, 1942-1960; as Chairman of the Awards Committee, 1948-1962. His other professional activities are covered in general correspondence files; a series of medical records, including material on Winston Churchill, 1944-1965; subject files relating to his role on various government, educational and medical bodies, including the commission to determine whether Rudolph Hess was mentally fit to stand trial in 1945.

The collection includes drafts and papers relating to The Anatomy of Courage, (including photocopies of his World War I army notebooks), and Winston Churchill: Struggle for Survival. In this book, as in his later volume on Churchill, Lord Moran alludes to his diaries. But as he indicated in the prefaces to both books he did not keep a diary in the ordinary sense of the word. From the World War I period, there survive several army notebooks with loose pages of notes. The notes in the volumes are not consecutive, and few passages are straightforward narrative descriptions; they appear in some cases to be written up from earlier jottings. Similarly, among the loose pages there seem to be few contemporary descriptions of events, though several may represent earlier drafts of thoughts which were later transcribed into the notebooks. The book Winston Churchill: Struggle for Survival also had a long gestation. The first section covering the World War II period up to 1947 was completed by 1949. There is a closely written loose-leaf manuscript book, which overflowed into collections of separate pages, covering the years 1940 to 1947. Judging by the varied use of past, present and future tenses and references under some dates to events that had not yet happened this volume must have been a fair copy of some earlier writing. There are further manuscript books, mixture of notes, diary and medical details continuing to 1955 and many pieces of paper, often backs of envelopes, with vignettes of a few lines elaborating particular ideas; some of these jottings, more or less modified, found a place in the book.

For the period after the war, as well as the jottings, there are letters written by Lord Moran to his family, many of which they kept. He drew on these when writing his Churchill book.

There is also a section of unpublished writings and speeches, 1921-1970.

Papers consulted by Professor Lovell in Australia while writing his biography of Lord Moran, were returned in two batches, the first in April 1990, when he helped with the initial sorting and listing of the papers, and the second in April 1991. Some of these papers have been returned to the main body of the collection, however most have been kept in a separate section in the list (Section L). Section S, comprising drafts of Lovell's biography of Lord Moran, apparently acquired c.1994, was added in Aug 2005.

The collection also contains personal and family material, photographs, press cuttings and ephemera, and a section comprising personal and professional papers of Lord Moran's wife Dorothy, Lady Moran (d.1983).

The language of the papers is mainly English. Section K contains foreign versions of "Struggle for Survival", in French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish. There are some German press reviews of "Struggle for Survival" in Section N.



Physical description

127 boxes 1 oversize folder


By section as follows:

A. St Mary's Hospital, [1906]-1972

B. Royal College of Physicians, 1928-1973

C. National Health Service, 1942-1960

D. Awards Committee, [1945]-1962

E. General Correspondence Files, 1918-1975

F. Medical Records, c.1918-1970

G. Subject Files, [1920s]-1968

H. Speeches and Writings, 1921-1970

I. Anatomy of Courage, [1915]-1973

J. Struggle for Survival, Publication Papers, 1949-1975

K. Struggle for Survival, Drafts and Background Notes, 1940-1968

L. Papers Consulted By Professor Lovell, 1919-1971

M. Personal Papers, 1882-1974

N. Press Cuttings, 1917-1977

P. Photographs, [1828]-1975

Q. Dorothy, Lady Moran's Papers, 1898-1976

R. Ephemera, 1925-1972

S. Richard R H Lovell's Biography of Lord Moran, 1989-1992

Acquisition note

These records were deposited with the library at Wellcome Collection by Lord Moran's elder son, Lord Moran, KCMG, and his younger son the Hon. Geoffrey Wilson in November 1984 (Accession No 182). Further papers were transferred from Williams and Glyn's bank and Lord Moran's London home in September and October 1985 (Accession Nos 198, 220, 223). Additional papers were transferred to the Institute by the Hon. Geoffrey Wilson in May 1990 (Accession No 341).

Biographical note

Charles McMoran Wilson, Lord Moran of Manton (1882-1977) had a long and active life. He was a prominent figure in the medical world, firstly as Dean of St Mary's Hospital Medical School (1920-1945), when he was responsible for rebuilding the premises and promoting the school as an undergraduate honours school. During this period he contributed to the debate on medical education, notably in his article "The Student in Irons", published in the BMJ in March 1932. He was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), London, in April 1941, narrowly defeating the traditionalist Lord Horder, and was re-elected annually until he stepped down in favour of Russell Brain in 1950. He promoted the influence of the RCP as an independent voice for the consultants in the negotiations over the introduction of the National Health Service. He was created a baron in the New Year honours of 1943 and made his maiden speech in June of that year in the debate on the Beveridge Report. He spoke powerfully in many of the debates on the NHS and was also a member of the second Spens Committee, which devised the merit awards system for consultants. He was the first chairman of the Awards Committee from 1949 to 1962 and with his vice-chairman, Sir Horace Hamilton, travelled extensively every year, working on the detail of individual recommendations for awards. His copious notes have survived [Section D. Closed for 60 years]

In addition to his role in medical politics he published two influential books. The Anatomy of Courage, published in February 1945, a study of the psychological effects of war, was a result of his experiences as a medical officer in the First World War and his work on shell-shock at a stationary hospital in Boulogne and later in Cambridge, where he met his wife, Dorothy Dufton. Throughout the 1930s he lectured to army colleges on morale in war and eventually brought all these thoughts together in the course of the Second World War, when he was travelling with Winston Churchill as his doctor. It is probably as Winston Churchill's doctor, that Lord Moran is best remembered and his second book Winston Churchill: Struggle for Survival, published fifteen months after his famous patient's death, was the subject of much controversy about the ethics of a doctor publishing information about a patient.

A summary list of the main points and events in the life of Lord Moran can be found in the hard copy catalogue in the Rare Materials Room of the Wellcome Library.

For further biographical information see Churchill's Doctor : A Biography of Lord Moran, by Richard Lovell (London: Royal Society of Medicine, 1992).

Related material

In Wellcome: There are two letters, 1951 and 1955, from Moran to Charles Noon, Senior Surgeon of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, apparently relating to consultant merit awards in that region, in MS.8825

Copyright note

This has NOT been assigned to the Wellcome Trust. Researchers should contact the current Lord Moran.

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.

Location of duplicates

The following photographs are held by Wellcome Images: PP/CMW/G.1/8/4, Russian health education material with teddies, [1941]: No. 6 being shampooed, L28772 No. 8 waking up, L28773 No. 9 exercises, L28774 No. 11 bath, L28775 No. 13 cleaning teeth, L28776 No. 14 brushing hair, L28777 No. 15 football, L28778 No. 17 picnic, L28779 No. 19 sleeping outside, L28780 PP/CMW/G.1/8/5, Russian health education material with toys (rabbits and teddies), [1941]: No.9 Rabbit doctor listening to teddy's heartbeat, L31879 No.10 Rabbit doctor giving teddy medicine, L31880 No.12 Teddy running away from rabbit doctor with medicine, L31881 PP/CMW/I.1/6 'The Dead German at Armentière' has been photographed, Wellcome Images negative numbers L0021176-77 PP/CMW/P: Copies of many photographs in this sections are held by Wellcome Images: P.3, 4, 22, 23, 28, 29, 34, 60, 61, 62, 68, 69, 70, 74, 97. For negative numbers see individual file/item descriptions.


List of abbreviations used in the catalogue.

ABC = American Broadcasting Company

AGM = Annual General Meeting

A of C = Anatomy of Courage

ASME = Association for the Study of Medical Education

ATS = Auxiliary Training Scheme

B = Lord Beaverbrook

Barts = St. Bartholomew's Hospital

BAOR = British Army of the Rhine

BBC = British Broadcasting Corporation

BMA = British Medical Association

c. = circa

CC = County Council

CSC = Clementine, Lady Churchill

CMW = Charles McMoran Wilson, Lord Moran

Cmnd = Command Paper

CW = Craig Wylie

DGAMS = Director-General Army Medical Service

DM = Desmond MacCarthy

DW = Dorothy Wilson, Lady Moran

EMS = Emergency Medical Services

GMC = General Medical Council

GHW = Geoffrey Wilson, younger son of Lord Moran

HAL = Henry Laughlin

ITV = Independent Television Company

JFW = John Forsythe Wilson, father of Lord Moran

JW = John Wilson, elder son of Lord Moran

MB = Bachelor of Medicine

MD = Doctor of Medicine

MOH = Medical Officer of Health

MPC = Medical Planning Commission

MRC = Medical Research Council

NBC = National Broadcasting Corporation (USA)

NHS = National Health Service

NY = New York, USA

PM = Prime Minister

RAF = Royal Air Force

RAMC = Royal Army Medical Corps

RC = Richard Church

RCOG = Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

RCP = Royal College of Physicians, London

RCS = Royal College of Surgeons

RL = Professor Richard Lovell

UGC = University Grants Committee

VD = Venereal Disease

WWI = World War I, 1914-1918

WWII = World War II, 1939-1945

Ownership note

The papers were used by Professor Richard Lovell for his biography of Lord Moran, while they were still with the family, prior to their being housed in the Wellcome Library.

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 182
  • 198
  • 220
  • 223
  • 341
  • 527