Lives of the fellows

Charles Henry Ralfe

b.8 October 1842 d.26 June 1896
MB Cantab(1871) MA MD MRCS FRCP(1878)

C. H. Ralfe was born at Saugor in India, the son of Major Henry Wilson Ralfe of the East India Company’s Service, who was killed a few months before his son’s birth. He was brought up by his mother at Weston-super-Mare and then became a pupil at the Bath United Hospital. He continued his medical training at King’s College, London, and after qualifying in 1863 obtained a house appointment in the Female Lock Hospital. Deciding to extend his education, he entered Caius College, Cambridge, in the same year, and graduated in natural sciences in 1866. He attended Addenbrooke’s Hospital for clinical training and proceeded to his M.B. degree in 1871.

Meanwhile, after a short period in general practice at Doncaster and having held a dispensary appointment at Bath, he had settled in London in 1869. There he served first as registrar at Charing Cross Hospital. From 1873 to 1880 he was physician to the Seamen’s Hospital, Greenwich, and in 1875 became demonstrator of physiological chemistry at St. George’s Hospital. In 1880 he was elected assistant physician, and in 1887 physician, to the London Hospital. He also lectured on public health at the London, but was forced by ill health to resign his appointments some months before his death. Caius College awarded him the Thruston prize in 1884 for his researches on physiological chemistry, which was the main subject of his writings. Ralfe was married firstly to Mary, daughter of Rev. J. Nicholson, rector of Great Paxton, Huntingdon, and secondly to Elizabeth Davis, sister of the Rector of North Benfleet. He had no children. He died at Billericay, Essex.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1896; B.M.J., 1896; Biog.Hist.of Caius College, ii, 364]

(Volume IV, page 258)

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