Edmund Percival

Edmund George Vincent Percival, FRSE, FCS, FRIC (10 November 1907 – 27 September 1951) was a 20th-century British research chemist


He was born in Hinckley in central England on 10 November 1907, the son of Elizabeth Martha Whittaker (1879-1949) and her husband, Albert Henry Percival (1877-1959). He was educated at King Edward VII Grammar School at Coalville and studied chemistry at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1928 with a BSc with first class honours. After a year at McGill University in Canada (1929/30) under Prof Harold Hibbert, then further research in Birmingham with Sir Norman Haworth, where he was his senior research assistant, he gained his first doctorate (PhD) in 1932.[1]

He began lecturing at the University of Edinburgh in 1933 receiving a second doctorate (DSc) in 1938. In 1941 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were James Pickering Kendall, John Edwin MacKenzie, Thomas Robert Bolam and David Bain.[2]

He was an air raid warden during World War II.

He became a Reader in Chemistry in 1948.

He died in Edinburgh on 27 September 1951 aged 43, and is buried in Liberton Cemetery, Edinburgh, along with his grandmother.


  • Structural Carbohydrate Chemistry (1950, 1962)


In 1934 he married colleague and fellow-chemist Ethel Elizabeth Kempson (1906-1997) at St Pauls Church in Walsall. They had one daughter and one son.


  1. ^ Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry vol 10
  2. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.