Lives of the fellows

William Allen Sturge

b.1850 d.27 March 1919
MVO MD Lond MRCS FRCP(1891)

Born at Bristol, Allen Sturge was the son of Quaker parents, William Sturge, land surveyor, and his wife Charlotte Allen. He began his medical training in the Bristol Medical School and continued it at University College, London, qualifying in 1873. In 1876 he made a protracted stay in Paris, to benefit from the instruction of Charcot and Fournier. On his return he started to practise in Wimpole Street in partnership with his wife, Emily Bovell, a physician. He obtained junior appointments at University College Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children and the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, was physician for a time to the Royal Infirmary for Women and Children and became assistant physician to the Royal Free Hospital. An enthusiast for women’s medical education, he lectured on pathology at the London School of Medicine for Women. He published several papers on neurological subjects, of which one, on progressive muscular atrophy, gained the silver medal of the Medical Society of London.

Sturge seemed destined for a distinguished career as a neurologist, general physician and clinical teacher, when the deterioration of his wife’s health caused him, in 1880, to abandon his London practice and make a fresh start at Nice. There, in twenty-seven years, he gained a reputation as one of the Riviera’s ablest physicians. His organisation was largely responsible for the success of Queen Victoria’s four spring visits to Cimiez. At Nice Sturge formed a notable collection of Greek vases. On his retirement to Icklingham in Suffolk in 1907, enthusiastically assisted by his second wife, Julia, daughter of A. C. Sherriff, M.P, whom he had married in 1886, he devoted himself to his lifelong interest in archaeology and gathered a fine assortment of flints, which he bequeathed to the nation. He was a founder and first president of the Society of Prehistoric Archaeology of East Anglia. To his fellow archaeologists, as to the students of his early days, he was an inspiring guide and adviser. He died at Icklingham, without issue.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1919; B.M.J., 1919]

(Volume IV, page 352)

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