13 NOVEMBER 1909, Page 20


[TO THE EDITOR OP THE " SPECTATOE.”.1 SIB,—The death of Dr. John Herbert Wells last month at the early age of thirty adds another name to the list of those who have lost their lives in the cause of scientific medical research.

After distinguishing himself in original research, Dr. Wells joined the Department of Therapeuticlnoculation at St. Mary's Hospital, where this branch of treatment was advanced materially by his labours.

In February, 1908, Dr. Wells undertook pioneer investigation of the treatment of glanders, and in the course of laboratory work which resulted in saving the life of the patient from this, till then, hopeless disease, contracted infection himself, and died, after eighteen months of suffering, on October 16th, 1909, leaving a widow and two small children almost totally unprovided for.

Throughout his long illness Dr. Wells's constant hope was to return to the work in the cause of which he had suffered so severely. He was held in high esteem by the members of his profession, and his thoroughness and personality won him many friends, as the obituary notice in the Lancet of the 23rd ult. abundantly testified. His life was rich with promise, and was laid down with manly fortitude as the penalty of his scientific zeal.

A Committee has been formed consisting of the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, the Earl of Dalhousie, Lord Justice Fletcher Moulton, Sir Sliroth Wright, M.D., F.R.S., and Messrs. H. A. Harben (late chairman of St. Mary's Hospital), Julian G. Lousada, Edmund Arthur Smith (of the Stock Exchange), and Dr. W. H. Willcox, and they now appeal to the public for donations to a fund to be held in trust for Dr. Wells's widow and children.

" The Committee (on whose behalf we write) feel strongly that in such a case as this, where a man has laid down his life in trying to relieve the sufferings of mankind, it is eminently fitting that some recognition should be made of his work, and they have full confidence that the public will make a ready response to their appeal.

All contributions sent to the honorary secretaries and treasurers of the fund at 16 Old Broad Street, London, E.C., will be gratefully acknowledged.—We are, Sir, &c.,

au.nousts k Joint Honorary Secretaries

J17LIAN G. LOIISADA and Treasurers.