Lives of the fellows

Maurice (Sir) Craig

b.29 May 1866 d.6 January 1935
CBE(1919) BA Cantab(1887) MA MD MRCS FRCP(1906)

Maurice Craig was born at Scarborough, the eldest son of Dr. William Simpson Craig, and his wife Frances Margaret Morrison, and educated at Bedford School and Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with first-class honours in natural sciences in 1887. He qualified from Guy’s Hospital four years later, and then worked in junior appointments in the Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital, the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the West Riding Asylum at Wakefield. He became an assistant medical officer at Bethlem in 1894, resigning after fourteen years to begin a private consulting practice which rapidly assumed large proportions. He had lectured meanwhile at St. George’s and Guy’s Hospitals on mental diseases and had been elected, in 1906, physician for psychological medicine at Guy’s, an office that he held till his retirement, with consulting rank, in 1926. During the 1914-1918 War, as neurological adviser to the R.A.M.C, he gave valuable service on behalf of soldiers affected with shell shock and mental disease. Afterwards he was a member of the War Office committee on shell shock and consulting neurologist to the Ministry of Pensions. He was made C.B.E. for his services in 1919 and was knighted two years later.

In the postwar years Craig devoted much energy to the National Council for Mental Hygiene, which he helped to found in 1922 and of which he was chairman after 1928. Another project which owed its existence partly to his inspiration was the Cassel Hospital, Penshurst, founded in 1921. He was, in addition, a governor of the Bethlem and Bridewell Hospitals and chairman of the governors of the Harpur Trust of the Bedford schools. He delivered the Maudsley lecture before the Royal Medico-Psychological Association in 1922 and the Bradshaw Lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in the same year and examined for the College and for London and Cambridge Universities. In 1926, his popular manual, Psychological Medicine, first published twenty-one years earlier, reached its fourth and last edition, in which he had the benefit of Thomas Beaton’s assistance.

A charming personality, with a capacity for clear thinking and an intuitive understanding of the problems of his patients, Craig was a strong believer in the preventive aspects of psychological medicine and in the need for popular enlightenment on the subject. He saw the danger of excessive specialisation in this branch of medicine and emphasised the necessity for close co-operation between specialist and family doctor. Craig married in 1903 Edith de Saumarez, daughter of A. Kentish Brock, and had one son and two daughters. He died at his home near Littlehampton.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1935; B.M.J., 1935; Mental Hygiene, Jan. 1935, 1; Al.Cantab., ii, 166]

(Volume IV, page 474)

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