Sydney Price James, 1870-1946

Samuel Rickard Christophers
1947 Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society  
Sydney Price James was born at Highgate on 17 September 1870, the youngest of three sons and a daughter of Thomas Edward James and Margaret nee Price, eldest daughter of seven of Rev. George Price, a successful preacher and lecturer. His father, who came from a Hereford family, was keenly interested in outdoor sports and a wide reader of books on discovery, biography, travel and adventure. He interested his children in collecting birds' eggs and insects and he gave James his first microscope.
more » ... mes's eldest brother for whom he had a great affection, after retiring as a surgeon in the Navy and going out to South Africa, died of malaria and blackwater fever in 1900. His second brother became a successful farmer in Rhodesia creating his own farm. This brother was a keen amateur photographer and invented and patented Velox paper. When he was about five years old James's parents moved to Carmarthen where most of his boyhood was spent. He was at this time very fond of boating in the pleasant surroundings of the Towy estuary and also used to go yachting with an uncle at Cowes, which probably was the cause in later life of his taking to yachting as a recreation at Bosham, a little yachting centre on the Sussex coast near Chichester and eventually to his retiring there to live. At the age of fourteen his parents returned to London where James attended St Olave's School, Southwark, passing his matriculation first class at sixteen. His original intention was to join the Forest Service, but circumstances eventually led to his taking up medicine. He spent three months at Guy's, but having obtained a scholarship for St Mary's Hospital he completed his medical education at that hospital, passing out in 1895 with the M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. and M.B., B.S. London. Later he took the M.D. London and the D.P.H. In 1896 James joined the Indian Medical Service and was at Netley from March to July of that year. He sailed for India in October. On arrival at Bombay he was attached as Junior Medical Officer to the 3rd Madras Lancers. In June 1897 he was despatched on plague duty to Waziristan and after some weeks there received orders to join the N.W. Frontier Force in the Tochi Valley Expedition. Here he contracted typhoid and was sent home on sick leave in November of that year. Whilst at home in the following September 1898 he married Lisa Maries, daughter of the Rev. W. Thomas of Llynrhydowen, Cardiganshire, a well-known Unitarian Minister whose bardic name and that under which he wrote was Gwilm Maries. James and his future wife had been playmates at Carmarthen and later when he was a medical student and she studying music and dramatic art at the Royal College of Music a close friendship arose which resulted a few years later in a very happy marriage.
doi:10.1098/rsbm.1947.0015 fatcat:cbhhnbujyfgpplu4wtu34pvkam