Liverpool Medical Students Society

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Liverpool Medical Students Society

Non Nobis Laboramus

"We Labour Not for Ourselves"
Established 1874
President Thomas A. Capstick
General secretary Elizabeth C. Lane
Treasurer Thomas J. H. Powell
Members over 1000
Honorary Life President Mr. Ron Templeton

The Liverpool Medical Students Society (LMSS) is the Medsoc of the University of Liverpool School of Medicine. The mission of the society is to represent and care for the students of the School of Medicine of the University of Liverpool.[1] It has an affiliation with, but is independent of, the Liverpool Guild of Students (the Students' Union). The Society's weekly Thursday meetings are held in the Grade II-listed Victoria Building. The Society's principal roles include the educational, pastoral, social and extracurricular needs of the Liverpool medical students and to represent the students' voice to the staff of the School of Medicine.[1]

The Society currently holds meetings and events at the Liverpool Medical Institution and the Liverpool Athenaeum, a private members' club in Liverpool city centre.

The Society's Honorary President for 2016/17 is the eminent lecturer, director of public health, and outgoing President of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Ashton CBE.[2]


The Liverpool Royal Infirmary School of Medicine Debating Society (MSDS) was founded in 1874[3] by Dr. Richard Caton.[4] The society was formed seven years ahead of the University of Liverpool.[5] The original society was a male only entity, and often debated such things as whether females should be admitted into the medical school. In 1885 it became the University College Medical School Debating Society, then 1902 a further change of name to the Liverpool University Medical School Debating Society. The society finally decided to admit female medical students in 1905, and the first female doctor to graduate from Liverpool was Phoebe Powell in 1910. In 1943 the society changed their name to the "Liverpool Medical Students Society", wanting to being recognised for more than debating.[4] The society claims to be the longest-running students society at the university.

The Society records the names of its Student Officers and Honorary Presidents in the Jack Leggate Theatre of the Victoria Gallery & Museum. Previous Honorary Presidents of the Society have included Henry Cohen, 1st Baron Cohen of Birkenhead, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Professor Sir Cyril A. Clarke KBE, and Professor Thomas Cecil Gray CBE KCSG. It's plaque reads:

"Established as Royal Liverpool Infirmary School of Medicine Debating Society in 1874 by Dr. Richard Caton, Making this the oldest society of its kind in the country. Continued as University College Medical School Debating Society from 1885, Becoming Liverpool University Medical School Debating Society in 1902. It was finally transformed to Liverpool Medical Students Society in 1943."

The LMSS Officer Board depicting the names of all Officers and Hon. Presidents of the Society in the Victoria Gallery & Museum at the University of Liverpool


The Society is registered as a charity in England and Wales.[6] The board consists of 14 members,[7] of whom most are senior practicing Medical Practitioners and eminent Alumni.[8] The Society is run primarily by three officers, the President, Treasurer and Secretary. A full committee of 39 medical students is elected at the AGM. They cover a portfolio of areas including entertainment & socials, charities, welfare, clubs & societies, the Annual Smoking concert and the Annual Medical Ball.

Notable Alumni who have served as Officers or Committee Members, and/or have demonstrated an exceptional and sustained commitment to multiple avenues of Society activity, to tirelessly further the interests of the Society are elevated to Honorary Life Membership of the Society.


The Society holds meetings on Thursdays where a Guest is invited to address the Society.

Notable Alumni & Honorary Presidents[edit]

2014-2016 'Smoker' controversy & University De-ratification[edit]

More recently, the Society has gathered national media attention for its "Jack Leggate" song and its infamous Annual Smoking concert which started in the 1880s.[1][4]

On 10 November 2014 the online feminist magazine The Vagenda tweeted a screenshot which apparently showed a proposed script for the Annual Smoking Concert which had been circulated amongst fourth year medical students.[9] The explicit content sparked claims that students responsible were misogynistic and that the concert itself was contributing to a "Lad culture" at the university.[10] The Mirror Online highlighted the explicit lyrics of the LMSS's "Jack Leggate song", stating;

"The society is also known for singing an explicit song at society events which includes the line “we like those girls who say they won't but look as though they might”"[11]

The university and Liverpool Guild of Students subsequently released a statement condeming the content and promising an internal enquiry into the materials for the production.[12]

The Victoria Building (above) where the weekly 'Ordinary Meetings' take place

On 14 January 2016 Liverpool Guild of Students officially de ratified the society barring its use of guild services.[13]

On 15 January 2016, a petition was created on in opposing the de-ratification of the LMSS, which demanded the immediate resignation of Liverpool Guild of Students President Harry Anderson.[14] As of 21 January 2016, this petition has over 1,300 signatures.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "LMSS Online". Liverpool Medical Students Society. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archive of the University of Liverpool: Guild of Students, Student Societies and Student Life: Student Societies: Records of Individual Societies/Clubs: Medical Student's Society". University of Liverpool. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Review of the LMSS
  5. ^ Kelly, Thomas (1981). For advancement of learning: the University of Liverpool, 1881-1981. Liverpool University Press. p. 560. ISBN 0853233047. 
  6. ^ "Liverpool Medical Students' Society". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "Liverpool Medical Students' Society". Companies House. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Liverpool University probes student rape play script". BBC News. 11 November 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Liverpool student society barred over 'drug-rape comedy'". BBC News. 14 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Engl, Helen Pidd North of; editor (2016-01-17). "Liverpool University medical society says ban over sexism 'disproportionate'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  15. ^ Traynor, Luke. "Students demand guild president's sacking after campus ban over rape row play". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 

External links[edit]