Kerr, Norman (DNB01)
KERR, NORMAN (1834–1899), physician, the eldest son of Alexander Kerr, a merchant, was born at Glasgow on 17 May 1834, and was educated at the high school of that city. He supported himself as a journalist on the staff of the ‘Glasgow Mail’ until he entered the university of Glasgow, where he graduated M.D. and C.M. in 1861. He then sailed for a time as surgeon in the Allan Canadian mail steamers, and in 1874 he settled at St. John's Wood in London, and was appointed a parochial medical officer of St. Marylebone, a post he retained for twenty-four years. He died at Hastings on 30 May 1899, and is buried at Paddington cemetery, Willesden Lane. He was twice married : first, in 1671, to Eleanor Georgina, daughter of Mr. Edward Gibson of Ballinderry, Ireland, who died in 1892, leaving issue four daughters and a son; and, secondly, in 1894, to Edith Jane, daughter of Mr. James Henderson of Belvidere Lodge, Newry.
The advancement of temperance was the work of Kerr's life. He originated the Total Abstinence Society in connection with the university of Glasgow, was an early member of the United Kingdom Alliance, and was the founder and first president of the Society for the Study and Cure of Inebriety. For many years he was chairman of the Inebriates Legislation Committee of the British Medical Association, and he was vice-president of the Homes for Inebriates Association. He was senior consulting physician to the Dalrymple Home for Inebriates at Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. The Inebriates Act of 1898 was largely the outcome of his labours.
He wrote: 1. 'On the Action of Alcoholic Liquors in Health,' London, 1876. 2. 'Mortality from Intemperance,' London, 1879. 3. 'Stimulants in Workhouses,' London, 1882. 4. 'The Truth about Alcohol,' London, 1885. 5. 'Inebriety, its Ætiology, Pathology, Treatment, and Jurisprudence,' 3rd edit. London, 1894. Among many ephemeral articles was his 'Alcoholism and Drug Habits' in the 'Twentieth Century Practice of Medicine,' 1895.[British Medical Journal, 1899, i. 1442; additional information kindly given by Mrs. Norman Kerr.]