For many years he worked in India and developed treatments for radical improvements in the control of dysentery, cholera, leprosy and snakebites. He was a founding member of the School of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta and the British Empire Leprosy Association. He was knighted in 1914, two months before he married Una
In his autobiography “Happy Toils” he records that he was a seventh son and Una was a seventh daughter both of families of fourteen. We have records of only four daughters for Chalres Niven McIntyre North side which suggests that three died early. She had gone to Calcutta about a year earlier from the London Hospital to be Sister in Charge of the surgical block of the Medical College Hospital.
They had three sons. Gordon was born in 1916 and later became a Professor of Physics. Ambrose was born in 1920 and became a Professor of Mathematics as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Ambrose had a twin, Clifford, who became a doctor and died in 1995. Ambrose died in 2005 and Gordon in 2006.
He wrote in his book”Thus late in life, I had the supreme good fortune to find a perfect companion and helpmate who unselfishly encouraged me to continue my researches in Calcutta and did not shrink from my working at the treatment of leprosy…”
The Godson of Una Elsie (Jeremy North) writes: Great Aunt Elsie was a great Victorian lady, very religious, very frugal, very generous to charities. Their house in Hampstead was always freezing in winter with just one small fire burning in the sitting room. She kept her sons on pretty short rations too!
She had a great sense of duty and came all the way down to Clifton in Bristol by rail and on her own for my confirmation after the war at the age of over 77 by rail, at a time when many people were not travelling.
Leonard loved to back my mother up against the wall and regale her with medical research matters, because he thought she was so good at listening to him. Actually she was just thinking about her next shopping list !
Jane her grandaughter writes: “I never met Elsie, though it always seemed funny that ‘Aunt Elsie’, as mum referred to her, and Dad’s mother, our unmet grandma, were one and the same person. I only remember from when I was little, sitting by the fire in the dining room, and sitting on his lap – but also confuse this with his funeral gathering at our house, at which he cannot actually have been present ! Thin with white hair, black suit, gold watch and chain. I remember visiting him in his Falmouth hotel, going downstairs(red carpet) into the dining room for a family meal in the middle of which he suddenly fell right over sideways, like a tree suddenly falling - he’ had a stroke. In hospital I remember it being strange he had bars round his bed, and he couldn’t speak. I told Petra with certainty that it was his pink tongue as well as his teeth in the glass beside his bed.
I remember when I was little, having a bubble bath, and mum giving me white bubble hair and a white moustache, then calling dad to see, saying I looked just like Uncle Leonard – but I don’t believe it”