Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar

Dr Elias Bell Purdon (1870 - 1947):
Physician aand surgeon

Dr Elias Bell Purdon was a member of a noted Ulster medical family.

He was born in Belfast, son of Dr Henry Samuel Purdon of 60 Pakenham Place and was educated at Methodist College in the city. Later he attended Crief Academy in Perthshire. He returned to study medicine at Queen’s College, Belfast and returned to Scotland where he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, graduating MD and MCh, and obtaining the Licences of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons, both of Edinburgh; and the Licence of Surgeons and Physicians of the University of Glasgow, All in the same year, 1893.

On return to Belfast he entered general practice at 60 Pakenham Place. He was physician to the Belfast Charitable Society from 1918 until his retirement in 1946. His main medical interest was in dermatology and he was physician to the Belfast Hospital for Skin Diseases and because of this interest and position he was Certifying Faculty Surgeon to many industries. His in-patient treatments were mostly at the Benn Hospital for Diseases of the Skin until it was destroyed in an air raid in 1941. After the war he was unable (because of age) to benefit from the hospital’s post-war improvements and arrangements which included the merging of its assets with those of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Purden was a keen and capable cellist who played for many years in the Belfast Philharmonic Orchestra.

He died on 7 April 1947 at the Musgrave Clinic, Belfast. He was unmarried.


Born: 6 June 1870
Died: 7 April 1947
Peter Froggatt

RSJ Clarke: A Directory of Ulster Doctors (who qualified before 1901): Belfast, Ulster Historical Foundation, 2013