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Honor Smith© By kind permission of the Fellows of St Hugh's college

Image available by kind permission of the Principal and Fellows of St Hugh’s College, Oxford


Pre-clinical medicine the London School of Medicine for Women, clinical training at the Royal Free Hospital in London. 

Research area

Neurosurgery, tuberculosis and meningitis.


  • Smith worked at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital after qualifying as a doctor. In 1943 she moved to Oxford, where she worked in the peripheral nerve injury unit, and under Sir Hugh Cairns as a consultant neurologist.
  • Smith was a pioneer in the use of intrathecal penicillin in the care of pneumococcal meningitis. Her management techniques gave her unrivalled success rate in treating patients, and she gained international renown, establishing a world-leading tuberculosis-meningitis unit at the Churchill Hospital.
  • In 1959 Smith travelled to Morocco on behalf of the World Health Organisation to investigate an epidemic of paralysis, which was traced to contaminated cooking oil.
  • She was appointed Honorary Consultant Neurologist to the Army's specialist neurology unit at Wheatley Military Hospital.
  • Smith was appointed an OBE in 1962.

Further resources

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