Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 July 28; 335(7612): 215.
PMCID: PMC1934477

Kathleen (“Kay”) Mary de Ville

Kathleen Mary de Ville (“Kay”) left Wimbledon High School with a strong social conscience. At the time it was impracticable for her to read medicine. She trained as a nurse at Charing Cross Hospital and became a SRN (state registered nurse) in 1937. She found the work restrictive so she enrolled at the London School of Economics and gained a social science diploma in 1939. She was appointed in 1941 to the London Probation Service, where she became very interested in the psychological treatment of delinquents. In 1943 medical training became possible and she graduated in 1950. She did a variety of house jobs at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Westminster, West Middlesex, Hackney, and the Royal Free Hospitals, as well as some work as a locum general practitioner before joining the prison medical service. Thereafter she worked in Holloway prison, Ashford remand centre, and Feltham borstal, from which she retired in 1975. She was popular among probation officers because her genuine understanding and wealth of experience prevented her from making impractical recommendations in her reports.

Kay joined the Society of Friends in 1938 and was an active member of the local Quaker meeting wherever she lived, for a time being an elder. In 1963 she married Dr Cyril Perry, deputy physician superintendent of Broadmoor Special Hospital. He predeceased her in 1993. Kay had wide interests, a quick mind, and a good sense of humour, and she never lost her deep concern for people both in and outside the penal system. Increasing blindness from macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease sadly affected her final six years.

Articles from The BMJ are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group