Lives of the fellows

Michael George Foster

b.13 December 1864 d.16 June 1934
OBE BA Cantab(1884) MA MD MRCS FRCP(1916)

Michael Foster was born at Huntingdon, the only son of Sir Michael Foster, K.C.B, F.R.S, by his first wife, Georgina, daughter of Cyrus Edmonds. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, at the age of sixteen and graduated in natural sciences in 1884. He qualified from University College, London, in 1888, winning the Fellowes gold medal for clinical medicine and the gold medal for surgery, and completed his studies with visits to Vienna and to Geneva, where he took the Swiss Federal Diploma in 1891. Unable to settle in England owing to threatened pulmonary tuberculosis, which two long voyages to Australia failed to cure, he made brief stays at Alassio in Italy and Maloja in Switzerland and then began a seasonal practice, of which the winter months of each year were spent at San Remo and the summer months in England — in London during the first few years and thereafter at Harrogate. He enrolled in a Volunteer battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in his early career, and when war came in 1914 was given a posting to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital. In 1917 he was sent to the 55th General Hospital in France, and later he became consulting physician to the Forces in the rank of colonel, receiving the O.B.E. for his services.

Foster was an early advocate of the open-air treatment of tuberculosis and an authority on health resorts. With Sir Hermann Weber he wrote articles on these subjects in Hale-White’s Textbook of Therapeutics and Allbutt and Rolleston’s System of Medicine, and in 1933, two years after retiring, he published an account of the Baths and Medicinal Waters in Britain and Europe. Foster, in spite of many misfortunes, was a lovable, cheerful individual. He married, firstly, Charlotte, daughter of General R. Y. Shipley, C.B, by whom he had three sons and one daughter, and, secondly, Margaret Manning, widow of Hon. W. E. Russell, governor of Massachusetts. He died at Fincham, Norfolk.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1934; B.M.J., 1934; Al.Cantab., ii, 547]

(Volume IV, page 547)

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