Lives of the fellows

Cuthbert Harry Rogerson

b.25 April 1909 d.10 February 1949
MB BS Lond(1932) MD Lond(1933) DPM Eng(1936) MRCS LRCP(1931) MRCP(1934) FRCP(1945)

Cuthbert Rogerson was born in Wokingham, Berkshire. His father was Harry Finch Rogerson, a master brewer; his mother, Margaret Collingwood, the daughter of a naval officer, was a deeply religious woman to whom Cuthbert owed his intimate knowledge of the Bible. Although never robust after the removal of a kidney, he was an outstanding student at Haileybury College and at Guy’s Hospital, and in 1934 went on a Rockefeller scholarship to the Phipps Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. This experience had a permanent influence, for in 1937 he returned to Guy’s Hospital to study psychiatric problems in children as Sir Alfred Fripp fellow, and set up an active unit which attracted both post-graduates and social workers.

In this same year he became medical director of the Cassel Hospital for Functional Nervous Disorders at Swaylands, Kent, and psychotherapist to the Hill End Hospital, St. Albans, remarkable achievements for a young man of twenty-eight, who was able to cope successfully with the difficulties involved in the move to the Midlands on the outbreak of war in 1939.

In 1946 he accepted the invitation to become director of the Seton Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and set about changing an old fashioned mental hospital into an up-to-date curative one. Unfortunately, when he had just established himself as an outstanding teacher and had been appointed lecturer to the Catholic University, Washington, D.C., he developed a brain tumour and died in 1949 at the age of forty.

Rogerson's infinite thirst for knowledge, his phenomenal memory and his facility of expression were shown in his conversation, his lectures, and the many contributions he made to medical journals. His interests were wide: botany, art, Greek, mediaeval poetry and mathematics. He was a good listener, and therefore able by quiet suggestion rather than by forceful action to deal with the many administrative changes of war-time England and of post-war American hospital conditions.

In 1936 he married Bettie C. Freeman, daughter of Allen W. Freeman, physician professor of public health administration at Johns Hopkins University; they had two sons.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1949, 1, 370; Lancet, 1949, 1,329.]

(Volume V, page 356)

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