University of Edinburgh - Posthumous bequest sets record

April 10, 2008

A doctor has donated almost £2 million to the University of Edinburgh - more than 60 years after he died in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. Australian Albert McKern graduated from Edinburgh in 1917 and wrote his will in a prison camp during the Second World War. Decades on, the legacy is being paid out, following Dr McKern's request that his estate be wound up ten years after the death of his children. The donation is the largest single legacy ever given to the university. The doctor asked that the donation to Edinburgh be spent on researching ways of alleviating women's "pain and distress" during pregnancy and labour. The cash is part of a lump sum of more than $11 million (£5.5 million) that has been split between Edinburgh and the universities of Sydney and Yale, where Dr McKern also studied.

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