Morton E Hall: Conservator of the Canadian War Museum in London, England during the Great War and Alberta’s Second Pathologist
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Morton Eldred Hall (1887-1975), a little known pioneer pathologist in Western Canada who had trained at Belleview Hospital in New York City, arrived at the newly forming medical school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1914. Shortly after this, First World War broke out and Hall enlisted. He was eventually posted at the Royal College of Surgeons in London where he assisted Sir Arthur Keith, the conservator of the Hunterian Museum and the Army Medical Collection, pathological specimens derived from fallen Dominion soldiers which were to be preserved as teaching specimens to help train military surgeons. Keith and Morton published important papers documenting the types of wounds generated by modern warfare. These papers are all that remain of the British War Collection as the museum was bombed by the Germans during Second World War. Specimens derived from Canadian casualties had been repatriated to Canada. Hall briefly served as the conservator for the Canadian Medical War Museum, the name given to Canadian specimens. After safely getting these precious war relics home in 1919, Hall returned to Edmonton where he was head of pathology at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, associate professor of pathology, and developed unique insights into university politics.
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