Rickard Christophers

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Rickard Christophers
Rickard Christophers.jpg
Samuel Rickard Christophers

(1873-11-27)27 November 1873
Died19 February 1978(1978-02-19) (aged 104)
AwardsManson Medal (1944)
Buchanan Medal (1952)
Fellow of the Royal Society[1]

Brevet Colonel Sir (Samuel) Rickard Christophers CIE, OBE, FRS[1] (27 November 1873 – 19 February 1978[2]) was a British protozoologist and medical entomologist specialising in mosquitoes.[3]


Christophers was born and raised in Liverpool, the son of Samuel Hunt Christophers and Mary Selina Christophers née Rickard and educated at the Liverpool Institute and University of Liverpool, graduating MB in 1896.


In 1897, he took part in an Amazonian expedition and in 1898 went to Italy as part of the Malaria Commission, followed by a trip to Africa to study malaria. In 1901, the Malaria Commission moved to India.[4]

On his return to England in 1902, he became a Lieutenant in the Indian Medical Service, moving back to India in 1904. In 1910 he was appointed the first Director of the Central Malaria Bureau, coordinating anti-malarial training and research throughout India. He spent World War I on anti-malaria duties in Iraq and in 1919 returned again to India as Director of the Central Research Institute at Kasauli in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Christophers was also an honorary physician to King George V from 1927 to 1930. He was awarded CIE in 1915, OBE in 1918 and knighted in 1931. He retired from the Indian Medical Service 27 November 1930 a Brevet Colonel.[5] On his retirement in 1932-38, he joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine where he became Professor of Malaria Studies in the University of London and Leverhulme Fellow of the Medical Research Council in charge of the Malaria unit at the LSHTM.[6] In 1944 Christophers was awarded the Manson Medal by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for his significant contribution to the fields of tropical medicine and hygiene.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, son-in-law of Sir Patrick Manson, described Sir Rickard Christophers in 1956:

'Christophers is known everywhere for his endearing qualities. He has a modest bearing and a curious hesitant manner accompanied by a cheerful giggle. He is the friend, philosopher and mentor of all keen young men of science[8]'

He died at Broadstone in Dorset.

He had married Elise Emma Sherman in London in September 1902. She was the daughter of the owner of a coffee estate in India. Their first child, Elise Iseult, was born in June 1903 in Allahabad, India, and their son, Samuel Vagn, in December the following year in Madras. Lady Christophers died in England in 1962.[9]


He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 1926.[1][10] He was the sixteenth president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from 1939 to 1943.

An expert on tropical medicines, Christophers studied many diseases, particularly malaria. His work on the research of this disease won him the Royal Society's 1952 Buchanan Medal for "outstanding research" on the Anopheles mosquito that transmitted malaria. In his career he also contributed to the taxonomy of other parasites.



  1. ^ a b c Shortt, H. E.; Garnham, P. C. C. (1979). "Samuel Rickard Christophers. 27 November 1873-19 February 1978". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 25: 179–207. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1979.0005. PMID 11615792.
  2. ^ Service, M.W. Obituary* Sir Rickard Christophers: A Tribute Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Mosquito Systematics Vol. 11 (l), 1979, 55–58
  3. ^ Obituary- Antenna (Royal Entomological Society Bulletin) 2 (2)
  4. ^ "Mosquito Systematics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  5. ^ Supplement to the January 1939 Indian Army List
  6. ^ Manson-Bahr, Philip (1956). LSHTM Memoir II History of the School of Tropical Medicine in London 1899-1949. London: H.K. Lewis & Co. Ltd. p. 202.
  7. ^ "List of past medal holders". Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011.
  8. ^ Manson-Bahr, Philip (1956). LSHTM Memoir II History of the School of Tropical Medicine in London 1899-1949. London: H.K. Lewis & Co. Ltd. p. 202.
  9. ^ https://archive.org/stream/cbarchive_118726_obituarysirrickardchristopher1979/MS_V11_N1_P055-58_djvu.txt
  10. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 22 December 2010.[permanent dead link]