Lucy Wills

Deceased Person

Lucy Wills, MA (Cantab), LRCP, MB BS (Lond) (10 May 1888 – 1964) was a leading English haematologist. She conducted seminal work in India in the late 1920s and early 1930s on macrocytic anaemia of pregnancy. Her observations led to her discovery of a nutritional factor in yeast which both prevents and cures this disorder. Macrocytic anaemia is characterised by enlarged red blood cells and is life threatening. Poor pregnant women in the tropics with inadequate diets are particularly susceptible. The nutritional factor identified by Lucy Wills (the ‘Wills Factor’) was subsequently shown to be folate, the naturally occurring form of folic acid. Lucy Wills was born on 10 May 1888 in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham. Her paternal great-grandfather, William Wills, had been a prosperous Birmingham attorney from a nonconformist Unitarian family. His son, her grandfather, had bought an edge-tool business in Nechells, AW Wills & Son, which manufactured such things as scythes and sickles and which her father continued to run. The family was comfortably off. Lucy Wills’s father, William Leonard Wills (1858–1911), was a science graduate of Owens College Manchester. Her mother, Gertrude Annie  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Dr. Lucy Wills
Date of birth
Place of birth
Sutton Coldfield


Institution From To
London School of Medicine for Women


Date of death

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