Sturges, Octavius (DNB00)

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STURGES, OCTAVIUS, M.D. (1833–1895), physician, eighth son of John Sturges of Connaught Square, London, was born in London in 1833. He obtained a commission in the East India Company's service, studied at Addiscombe, went to India in 1852, and in 1853 became a lieutenant in the Bombay artillery. He left India in 1857, and began to study medicine, for which he had always had a predilection, at St. George's Hospital. In October 1858 he entered at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1861, M.B. in 1863, and M.D. in 1867. He was captain of the first university company of volunteers at Cambridge. He became a member of the College of Physicians of London in 1863, and was elected a fellow in 1870. He was medical registrar at St. George's Hospital 1863–5, became assistant-physician at the Westminster Hospital in 1868, and physician in 1875. He lectured there successively on forensic medicine, materia medica, and medicine. He was elected assistant-physician to the Hospital for Sick Children in 1873, and physician in 1884. At the time of his death he was senior physician there and at the Westminster Hospital. He delivered the Lumleian lectures at the College of Physicians on diseases of the heart in childhood, and was senior censor in the same year. He died unmarried on 3 Nov. 1895 from injuries due to his being knocked down by a hansom cab while crossing a street eight days before.

Sturges described his experiences at Addiscombe and in India in a novel written in collaboration with a niece, entitled ‘In the Company's Service,’ and published in 1883. He also published ‘An Introduction to the Study of Clinical Medicine’ in 1873, ‘The Natural History and Relations of Pneumonia’ in 1876, and ‘Chorea and Whooping Cough’ in 1877. His book on pneumonia contains many original observations, and is of permanent value; while his treatise on chorea, in which that disease is regarded as a disease of function, shows close observation of the mental and moral as well as the physical condition of the young, and lucidly expounds a consistent theory of the nature and causation of the disease. He was a physician of wide observation and excellent sense, and his abilities were profoundly respected in his university and in the College of Physicians.

[Memoir by Dr. W. H. Dickinson in St. George's Hospital Gazette, vol. iii.; Works; personal knowledge.]

N. M.