Henry: a physician of distinction – the Rt Hon. Lord Cohen of Birkenhead, CH*

Henry Cohen was born on 21 February 1900, the youngest of five children, to Isaac Cohen and Dora (nee Mendelson). Both were refugees from pogroms in Poland – what would now be called asylum seekers. They married in Manchester and moved to Cardigan Street, Birkenhead, where they had four sons and one daughter. His father, a descendant of rabbis, was an impecunious general dealer about whom little is known. His mother was a dominant personality to whom he was deeply attached and with whom he lived until her death in 1955. Lord Taylor of Harlow recalled how ‘Henry was a bachelor who lived with his mother in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. For fun I used to say: “Where are you going for your summer holidays, Henry?” The answer was always the same: “I’m taking my mother to Llandudno.'”1 In one of his after-dinner speeches he related how once, when

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