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Biographical entry Turner, Alfred Jefferis (1861 - 1947)

3 October 1861
Canton, Guangdong, China
29 December 1947
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Paediatrician and Entomologist


Alfred Jefferis Turner established the first infant welfare clinic in Queensland in 1909. He also introduced diphtheria anti-toxin in 1895 and made the notification of tuberculosis compulsory in 1904. In his spare time he was a keen entomologist who specialised in Lepidoptera and named 450 new genera and four new families.


Born 3 October 1861. Died 29 December 1947. Educated University of London (MB 1884, MD 1886). Cambridge Diploma in Public Health 1901. Arrived Australia 1888, first resident surgeon, Hospital for Sick children, Brisbane 1889-93, honorary visiting physician and private practice from 1893, visiting medical officer, Diamantina Hospital for Chronic Diseases from 1904, Royal Army Medical Corps 1916-18, director, Central Tuberculosis Clinic from 1927, first (part-time) director of infant welfare 1926-37. President, Queensland branch, British Medical Association 1904, President, Entomological Society of Queensland 1930. Bequeathed his collection of over 50,000 moths to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Published resources


  • Musgrave, A., Bibliography of Australian Entomology, 1775-1930, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales., Sydney, 1932, 380 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Thearle, John, 'Turner, Alfred Jefferis (1861-1947), Paediatrician and Entomologist', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 288-289. Also available at Details

Conference Papers

  • Thearle, Michael J., 'Dr. Alfred Jefferis Turner - a Man Before His Time', in Harold Attwood and R. W. Home (eds), Patients, Practitioners and Techniques: Second National Conference on Medicine and Health in Australia, Melbourne, 1984, Medical History Unit and Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne, a, Melbourne, 1984. Details

Journal Articles

  • Mackerras, I., 'A. J. Turner Memorial Address', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, vol. 60, 1948, pp. 69-79. Details
  • Mackerras, I.M., 'Alfred Jefferis Turner and Amateur Entomology in Australia', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, vol. lx, no. 7, 1948, pp. 69-88. Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker