Lives of the fellows

Charles Hubert (Sir) Bond

b.30 September 1870 d.18 April 1945
KBE(1929) CBE(1920) MB Lond(1892) BSc(1893) MD DSc Edin FRCP(1918)

Hubert Bond, elder son of Rev. Alfred Bond of Powick, Worcestershire, was born at Ogbourne St. George in Wiltshire. After a private education, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where he was Mackenzie bursar in 1889-91, and at King’s College, London. His M.B. degree in 1892 was followed by the B.Sc. in public health in 1893, and he was Gaskell gold medallist in 1897. Choosing mental diseases as his special field, he obtained junior posts at Morningside, Wakefield, and Banstead Mental Hospitals. In 1898 he was made deputy superintendent at Bexley and in 1903 the first medical superintendent of Ewell Colony for Epileptics, a post which he exchanged after four years for a similar one at London County Mental Hospital, Long Grove. In 1912 he became a commissioner in lunacy and in 1914 one of the commissioners of the new Board of Control. From 1930 until his retirement in 1945 he was one of the four senior commissioners. With this work Bond combined membership of official committees, lecturing at the Middlesex and Maudsley Hospitals, a consulting appointment in neurology and mental diseases to the Royal Navy (after 1925), examinerships at London and Leeds Universities and the Conjoint Board, and offices in medical societies, among which was the presidency of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association in 1921— 22. During the 1914-1918 War he devoted his energies to the organisation of military mental hospitals. He was created C.B.E. in 1920 and promoted to K.B.E. in 1929.

Bond was a powerful advocate of the principle of voluntary treatment for " rate-aided " mental patients, although, ironically, heavy damages were awarded against him when a patient in 1924-25 alleged improper detention by Bond—a judgment happily reversed on appeal. The Mental Treatment Act of 1930 owed much to his vision and to his belief that the treatment of mental disorder should be brought into line, so far as was practicable, with the treatment of physical disorder. His enthusiasms were communicated to his subordinates by his personal interest and leadership. His personality was enhanced by his appearance—a small trim figure with bowler hat and short beard—and he was a man of innumerable friends, the " Sir Bond " who was so affectionately greeted at international gatherings. When past seventy, he survived an attack by a psychotic armed with a gas pipe which fractured his skull. The centre of many anecdotes, he himself would always make an adventure of life in less spectacular ways—by taking an interest in everything and everybody he encountered, the countryside, old churches, his friends, his colleagues, and by filling every waking moment with activity, enterprising and worthwhile. He married in 1900 Janet Constance, daughter of Frederic Robert Laurie of Worcester, and had one daughter. He was the brother of Surgeon Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald Bond, F.R.C.P. He died at St. Anne’s-on-Sea, three weeks after retiring.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1945; B.M.J., 1945; Times, 19 Apr. 1945]

(Volume IV, page 556)

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