Lives of the fellows

Hugh Stott

b.18 July 1884 d.23 May 1966
CIE(1938) OBE(1918) MB BS Lond(1908) MD(1920) DPH(1920) MRCP(1920) FRCP(1932) IMS(Ret)

Hugh Stott was born in London to Dr. Hugh Stott and Ellen (née Gurr). He was educated at Mercers’ School and was a Rich’s exhibitioner to Guy’s Hospital in 1902. There he obtained the Asheton prize in biology, was a Golding Bird gold medallist, and won the Treasurer’s prize for an essay on the treatment of syphilis. He was house physician to Dr. (later Sir Arthur) Hurst and Sir William Hale White.

He entered the Indian Medical Service in 1908 and in 1911 was appointed medical specialist in Burma, where he carried out important work on malaria and introduced the use of salvarsan in the treatment of syphilis for the first time in India. In the same year he was appointed Surgeon-General to Lord Pentland, the Governor of Madras, and at the outbreak of war joined the hospital ship Madras and served in her for 4 years, repatriating sick and wounded Indian personnel from Mesopotamia, Egypt and East Africa. He was appointed OBE in 1918. During 1919 he saw active service on the North West Frontier of India.

In 1919 he returned to England on his first leave and within six months had obtained the MD London with gold medal, the MRCP London and the DPH England. On his return to India in 1920 he was posted to serve with the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, where his experience in heat stroke and exhaustion among the troops was to serve him in good stead in caring for eight passengers and four crew of an Imperial Airways aircraft in which he was travelling, which made a forced landing in 1936 in the Persian desert and was missing for 2 days. In 1922 he was appointed Professor of Pathology and teaching Physician at King George’s Medical College, Lucknow, where he spent a most fruitful 15 years, for eight of which he was Principal and Dean of the Medical College. He built up a fine pathological museum, and his skill as a teacher and mentor to his students, both in the laboratory and the wards, was notable. He wrote over 70 scientific papers, many of which were written during this period.

In 1937 he was promoted to Inspector General of Civil Hospitals, Bihar. He received the CIE for his work there and in 1939 he was made Honorary Surgeon to the Viceroy of India and in 1941 Honorary Surgeon to HM King George VI. During this period of his career he had greater time to devote to the administrative aspects of medical education, which he continued after his appointment as Surgeon-General, Madras, with the rank of Major-General, where he had three medical colleges under his control. He retired from the IMS in 1944.

After his retirement he served with the British element of the Allied Commission for Austria from 1945 to 1946, and during this time he was elected Fellow of the University of Vienna and honorary member of the Association of Physicians of Vienna. In 1946 he settled in Eastbourne and for the next ten years undertook board work for the Ministry of Pensions, until his death. He took an interest in local affairs and from 1950 to 1952 served as an independent member of the Eastbourne Council and as a member of the Hailsham Hospital Management Committee.

He was a keen sportsman. At Guy’s Hospital he was secretary of the United Hospitals Hare and Hounds, thoughout his life he was an enthusiastic horseman, and during his period in India was keen on big game hunting. In his later years he devoted himself to gardening, music and ballet and was a regular attender at the Glyndeboume festivals. He was also occupied in writing the history of the Stott family, beginning with the settlement of the Vikings in the Yorkshire Dales. He himself was the fifth in direct line to become a doctor and is followed by his son and grandson.

In 1911 he married Ethel Crisp, to whom he was devoted, and who predeceased him by three years and by whom he had a son and a daughter. He was a striking and firm character but with a great deal of human sympathy. He would make up his mind only after careful thought and would then not allow anything to divert him from what he regarded as the right and proper course, however much the inconvenience or harm to himself personally.

H Stott

[Brit.med.J., 1966, 1, 1486; Lancet, 1966, 1, 1274]

(Volume VI, page 425)

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