This prize was named after Lieutenant Colonel Edward Frank Harrison.
Having qualified as a pharmaceutical chemist, Harrison attempted to enlist in the army during the First World War, but was unsuccessful. However, with the introduction of gas weapons there was a need for chemists like Harrison to devise a method of defence against this new form of arms.
Harrison became the Deputy Controller of the Chemical Warfare Department and produced the first serviceable British gas mask. He continuously worked on this during the war until he died of pneumonia. His contributions have hugely impacted the lives of many in the armed forces.
The Edward Harrison Memorial Prize was established in 1922 through donations from friends and colleagues to commemorate the contributions of Lt-Col Edward Harrison to chemistry. In 2021, the purposes of this Trust were amended, and remaining monies were combined with other generous bequests and donations to become part of the RSC Recognition Fund.
In 2008, the Harrison Memorial Prize merged with the Meldola Medal and Prize to form the Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prizes.