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Wilson, Charles McMoran, Lord Moran of Manton (1882-1977)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/CMW
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Wilson, Charles McMoran, Lord Moran of Manton (1882-1977)
Date(s): [1828]-1977
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 117 boxes, 8 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder. 1 box of uncatalogued material
Name of creator(s): Wilson | Charles McMoran | Lord Moran of Manton | 1882-1977 | physician
Wilson | Dorothy | Lady Moran | d.1983
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

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.

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.

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


Scope and content/abstract:

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 re Anatomy of Courage (including photocopies of his World War I army notebooks), and Winston Churchill: Struggle for Survival. 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). 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).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
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.

System of arrangement:

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.

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, by prior appointment with Archives and Manuscripts staff and after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking. Please note that a number of files in Sections J, K and L (marked in the detailed list), and most of the files in Section D, are subject to specified closure periods.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Catalogued by Penny Baker, CMAC, Wellcome Library, May 1992. Hard-copy catalogue with personal names, subjects and places index available in Wellcome Library.

Archival Information

Archival history:

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 Institute.

Immediate source of acquisition:

These records were deposited with the Wellcome Library 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).

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

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

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Description compiled by Amanda Engineer

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2001

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