Albert Naish was the seventh son of Henry Naish, a cotton merchant, and Elizabeth Mary Pinsent, whose father, Dr Keddell,was a general practitioner. He was born in Bristol, where his paternal grandfather had been chairman of the Royal Infirmary for fourteen years and his maternal grandfather in general practice, and was educated at Monckton Coombe Public School, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Until his final year at Trinity College he had intended to be a zoologist.
He held house physician posts at St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal Free Hospitals before finding his life interest in diseases of children in a like post at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and then settling down in an extensive country practice at Hillsborough, near Sheffield, which entailed journeys by bicycle, horesback and pony and trap until the coming of the primitive motor car. At the age of thirty-nine he decided to become a consulting physician, and was on the staffs of the Sheffield Royal and Children’s Hospitals until his appointment as professor of medicine in 1931; he retired in 1936.
Although always thin and frail-looking Naish was a vigorous tennis and squash player; other hobbies were music, biology and classics for which his early education had been a sound preparation, and which coloured his scholarly language and therefore offset a rather hesitant and diffident manner unless he was justly angered by foolish statements and actions. A good clinician, he was a sound rather than a stimulating teacher.
In 1902 he married Lucy, daughter of Henry Wellburn, a brewer, who had qualified from the Royal Free Hospital. She carried on their practice at Hillsborough while he served as a major, R.A.M.C., in World War I, and lectured on osteology at Sheffield Medical School while he held the chair in medicine. They had five sons and three daughters, of whom John Naish and Alice Stewart became Fellows of the College.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1964, 2, 450 (p), 698; Lancet, 1964, 2, 321-2; Times, 3 Aug. 1964 (p).]