Lives of the fellows

Theodore Dyke Acland

b.14 November 1851 d.16 April 1931
BA Oxon(1874) MB(1880) MA DM MRCS FRCP(1889)

Theodore Acland was the third son of Sir Henry Acland, Bart, F.R.S, F.R.C.P. After leaving Winchester, he went up to Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a first class in natural science in 1874. He was a medical student at St. Thomas’s Hospital and, as holder of a Radcliffe travelling fellowship, visited Leipzig and Vienna. After graduating in 1880, he was appointed to junior posts at St. Thomas’s and the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. His career was interrupted in 1883 when he was sent to Egypt to fight a cholera epidemic: he was attached to the Military Cholera Hospital and afterwards made principal medical officer of the Egyptian army, receiving the Order of Medjidie for his services. On his return, he became assistant physician to the Brompton Hospital, where eventually he rose to be consulting physician, and to the West London Hospital. He was elected assistant physician to St. Thomas’s in 1887 and physician in 1893. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Vaccination of 1889-96, which in its final report advocated ending arm-to-arm vaccination in favour of the use of glycerinated calf-lymph, recently introduced by his pupil S. A. M. Copeman. He was influential in founding the King Edward VII Sanatorium at Midhurst, to which he became consulting physician, and King Edward VII’s Hospital Fund for London. He served during the 1914-1918 War as consulting physician to London District. Afterwards, as consultant physician to the Ministry of Pensions, he campaigned vigorously — as some thought, over-vigorously — on behalf of those whom he believed to be the victims of bureaucratic injustice. He was a Censor of the Royal College of Physicians and examined for the Conjoint Board, the India Office and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester and Leeds; in 1906, he became the first assessor of examinations at the Cairo Medical School. His main publications were articles in Allbutt’s System of Medicine and his edition of Sir William Gull’s works (1894). Acland’s reputation was that of a fair-minded, learned and humorous individual. There was a strong vein of quixotism in his character, and his generous impulses of protection were sometimes exploited by the unworthy. None the less, he made no enemies. He married in 1888 Caroline Cameron, daughter of Sir William Gull, F.R.S, F.R.C.P, and was survived by one son. He died at Bryanston Square, London.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1931; B.M.J., 1931; Al.Oxon., i, 4]

(Volume IV, page 332)

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