Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/FitzGerald, Thomas Naghten

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FITZGERALD, Sir THOMAS NAGHTEN (1838–1908), surgeon, born on 1 Aug. 1838 at Tullamore, Ireland, was son of John FitzGerald of the Indian civil service. After attending St. Mary's College, Kingston, he received his professional education at Mercers' Hospital in Dublin, became L.R.C.S. Ireland in 1857, and obtained a commission in the Army Medical Staff. A sudden attack of illness obliged him to abandon his course at Netley, and he made a voyage to Australia in search of health. Arriving at Melbourne in July 1858, he was immediately appointed house surgeon at the Melbourne Hospital, and held the post for two years, after which he began to practise privately as a surgeon in Lonsdale Street. In 1860 he was appointed full surgeon to the hospital, to which he was elected a consulting surgeon on his resignation in 1900. He was also consulting surgeon to the Queen Victoria, St. Vincent, and Austin hospitals. He excelled in the operative part of his profession, and wrote papers for medical journals on cleft palate, fractured patella, club foot, drilling in bone formations, and like surgical topics. When the medical school was started at Melbourne he proved himself as good a teacher as he was a surgeon. In 1884 he revisited Ireland, and after examination became F.R.C.S. Ireland. He was knighted in 1897 on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. He was president of the Medical Society of Victoria both in 1884 and in 1890, and of the Intercolonial Medical Congress in 1889. In 1900 he went to South Africa as consulting surgeon to the imperial forces then engaged in the Boer war, and for his services was made C.B. He published in the 'Intercolonial Medical Journal of Australasia' (1 Dec. 1900) an interesting account of his experiences in South Africa, in which the work of the Royal Army Medical Corps and the nursing staff was commended. He died on 8 July 1908 on board the s.s. Wyreema between Cairns and Townsville, while on a voyage for his health. He was buried in the Melbourne general cemetery. He married in 1870 Margaret, daughter of James Robertson, Launceston, Tasmam'a, and by her, who died in 1890, he had issue three daughters.

[Australian Med. Gaz. vol. 27, 1908, p. 428 (with portrait); Lancet, 1908, ii. 200.]

D’A. P.