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Leslie Gordon Kiloh

Born 1917
Died 1997

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Australian physician, born September 20, 1917, London; died April 11, 1997.

Biography of Leslie Gordon Kiloh

Leslie Gordon Kiloh was educated at Battersea Grammar School and studied medicine at London University and King’s College Hospital. During World War II he served in the Middle East and was wounded in Athens when his group came under sniper fire while rescuing a superior.

After the war he worked in a psychiatric position at the Netherne Hospital in Surrey and, working with Samuel Nevin, completed his DPM. He then left the army and returned to King’s where he was based in the neurological unit working with such leading British neurologists as McDonald Critchley (1900-1997) and Samuel Nevin (1905-1979).

On completing his training he moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, but soon moved on to a large psychiatric hospital to gain clinical experience. When Sir Martin Roth took up the Chair at the University of Durham (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Kiloh joined the department and, in collaboration with others, produced a series of influential papers on the sub-typing and treatment of depression.

Leslie Kiloh came to Sydney, Australia in 1962 and took up the chair of psychiatry at the new Medical School at the University of New South Wales, based at Prince Henry Hospital. He was already known for his work in the classification of depressive illnesses and had published a highly regarded text on electroencephalography.

Kiloh established a 50-bed psychiatric unit at the Prince Henry Hospital and later a 40-bed unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital. He arranged for the transfer of the Psychiatric Research Unit from Callan Park Hospital to Prince Henry Hospital as the Neuropsychiatric Institute. He built up a first rate school of psychiatry which included distinguished Australian psychiatrists such as the ethno-psychiatrist John Cawte, an expert on the mental health of australian aborigenes; Neil Maconaghy, Gavin Andrews, Barry Nurcombe (now Professor of Child and family psychiatry in Brisbane, Queensland) and Gordon Parker the present professor and expert in depressive illnesses.

Kiloh's main hobbies were yachting and gliding, and he was a keen sailor, bush walker and naturalist. He is described as a most congenial individual with a love of research which he conveyed to his colleagues and students.

Kiloh's 1961 textbook on electroencephalography became a classic. For many years he co-authored The British Encyclopedia of Medical Practice with Sir Martin Roth. He retired from the Chair in 1982 and continued as Emeritus Professor and in private clinical practice until illness finally prevented him.

To honor Leslie’s extensive contributions to Australian psychiatry the new 50-bed state-of-the-art psychiatric unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital opened in 2000 as “The Kiloh Centre”.

We thank Issy Pilowsky, and Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.

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