Lives of the fellows

William Pasteur

b.1855 d.1 September 1943
CB CMG MD Lond MRCS FRCP(1891)

William Pasteur, the son of a Swiss from Geneva, was educated privately at Maidenhead and at University College, London. After qualifying in 1880 and graduating two years later, he studied at Vienna for a time. He then accepted a registrar’s post at the Middlesex Hospital, which he continued to serve throughout his career as assistant physician, full physician and consulting physician, lecturer on forensic medicine, hygiene and medicine, and dean of the Medical School. Another lifelong association was with the Queen’s Hospital for Children, Hackney, which elected him as its physician and consulting physician. A fluent speaker of French and German, he was also physician to the French Hospital for some years. He examined on behalf of London, Durham and Birmingham Universities and the Conjoint Board. During the 1914-1918 War Pasteur received the C.B. and C.M.G. for his services as consultant physician to the British Armies in France at the Rouen base, a post that afforded him many opportunities for studying chest wounds. Thoracic disease was the main — although not the only — field of his private researches. His Bradshaw Lecture of 1908 discussed massive collapse of the lung after operation, a condition to which he referred again in an article in 1914 and one which, indeed, owed its discovery and description to Pasteur.

When he died, Pasteur had been a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, where he had held the office of Censor, for fifty-two years, and was fifth in order of seniority. A hospital physician of the old school, dignified, gracious and courtly, he was slow in applying to individual cases the vast fund of knowledge which he had accumulated. In committee, he was always open to persuasion. Mountaineering, gardening and music provided his chief recreations. He married in 1890 Violet Mabel, daughter of Col. R. Seddon, R.E., and had two daughters and a son.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1943; B.M.J., 1943; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1944, 10]

(Volume IV, page 350)

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