Lives of the fellows

Henry Fitzgerald Maudsley

b.13 January 1891 d.12 May 1962
MC(1918) MB BS Melb(1915) MD Melb(1920) DPM Lond(1921) MRCP(1922) FRCP(1937) FRACP(1938)

Henry Maudsley was born in Melbourne into a very distinguished family. His father, Sir Henry Carr Maudsley, a Fellow of the College in 1902, had emigrated to Australia in 1888, seven years after qualifying in medicine from University College Hospital, and had joined the staff of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in 1903. His mother was Grace, the daughter of Canon Stretch, of Melbourne, and his great-uncle, Henry Maudsley, the founder of the Maudsley Hospital.

He was educated in Melbourne at the Church of England Grammar School and at the University Medical School, and immediately after graduation enlisted as a regimental medical officer in the Australian Army. For close on two years he served in France, and for outstanding devotion to duty in the Battle of Polygon Wood was awarded the Military Cross.

In 1920 he came to London for post-graduate studies in psychiatry at the Bethlem and Maida Vale Hospitals, and in general medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital under Sir Francis Fraser. On his return home he was appointed neurologist and psychiatrist to the Melbourne Hospital in 1923. In the primitive ward allotted to him he brought a previously unknown hope to chronic alcoholics and dements, and by his application of modern scientific methods developed the splendid department in the new Royal Melbourne Hospital that placed psychiatry in the forefront of Australian medicine.

He gave staunch support to Sir Richard Stawell in the formation of the Victorian Council for Mental Hygiene, of which he was president for many years, was the leader in the Mental Hygiene Authority set up by the Government under the direction of Dr Cunningham Dax, and in 1955 was president of the Australian Association of Psychiatrists. These ambitions he was able to achieve by a courageous and relentless drive that had its basis in a deep and sympathetic understanding of his patients and their relatives, and was reinforced by a great charm of manner in his dealings with his colleagues.

In 1933 he married Sophie McCall, who was later honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for her community work. They had three daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Med.J.Aust., 1962, 2, 520-22 (p).]

(Volume V, page 272)

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