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Payne, S.M. (1952). Dr. John Rickman. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 33:54-60.

(1952). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 33:54-60

Dr. John Rickman

Sylvia M. Payne

The death of John Rickman on July 1, 1951, at the early age of 60 years has deprived the British Psycho-Analytical Society and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis of a member who had been intimately connected with the development of Psycho-Analysis in Britain since 1918.

Dr. Rickman came of Quaker stock and was educated at a Quaker public school and afterwards at King's College, Cambridge, where he took a Natural Science Tripos and the first part of his Medical degree. He completed his medical training at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, graduating in 1916. On qualification he volunteered for the Friends' War Victims Relief Unit in Russia, and on his return to England wrote a series of articles on his experiences when practising medicine amongst the Russian peasants. These articles were published anonymously at the time of writing, and have recently been revised and published in a book written with Geoffrey Gorer entitled The Peoples of Great Russia.

While working in Russia he met his future wife, Lydia Cooper Lewis, of Philadelphia, who was working as a social worker with the American Friends' Service Committee. They were married in 1918 in Buzuluk, Samara Province, by Russian civil ceremony, the first marriage ceremony that had happened since marriage had become legal apart from the Greek Orthodox ritual. A daughter was born to them in 1921.

John Rickman did pioneer work in Russia of a kind which he was to repeat on more than one occasion during this lifetime. In the hospital in which he was working he organised the training of Russian peasant girls in spite of opposition from the nurses and other doctors connected with the unit; his object was to teach the people something which might be carried on when the unit left the country.

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