Edmund Percival

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Edmund George Vincent Percival, FRSE, FCS, FRIC (1907–1951) was a 20th century British research chemist


He was born in Hinckley in central England on 10 November 1907, the son of Albert Henry Percival (1877-1959) and his wife, Elizabeth Martha Whittaker (1879-1949). He was educated at King Edward VII Grammar School at Coalville and studied Chemistry at Birmingham University, graduating BSc in 1928 with first class honours. After a year at McGill University in Canada (1929/30) under Prof Harold Hibbert, then further research in Birmingham with Sir Norman Haworth where he was his senior research assistant, he gained his first doctorate (PhD) in 1932.[1]

He began lecturing at Edinburgh University in 1933 receiving a second doctorate (DSc) in 1938. In 1941 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were James Pickering Kendall, John Edwin MacKenzie, Thomas Robert Bolam and David Bain.[2]

He was an ARP warden during the 1939-45 war.

He became a Reader in Chemistry in 1948

He died in Edinburgh on 27 September 1951 aged only 43. He is buried in Liberton Cemetery, Edinburgh, along with his grandmother.


  • Structural Carbohydrate Chemistry (1950, 1962)


In 1934 he married colleague and fellow-chemist Ethel Elizabeth Kempson (1906-1997) at St Pauls Church in Walsall.

They had one son and one daughter.


  1. ^ Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry vol 10
  2. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.