14 September 2010

Featured Neurologist: Charles Putnam Symonds

Charles Putnam Symonds was born in London, England to Charter Symonds, a surgeon at Guy’s Hospital and the Association of British Neurologists’ tenth President. Symonds was educated at Oxford University's New College and Guy’s Hospital, where he trained under Arthur Hurst and Adolph Meyer. Symonds received his medical qualification in 1915. In 1919, he was appointed to National Hospital, Queen Square. The same year, he became the medical registrar at Guy's Hospital and was quickly promoted to neurologist. Soon after, he was deployed to France, where he served courageously and was eventually awarded the Médaille militaire, a prestigious medal issued for acts of bravery. After studying at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1921 with Adolf Meyer, Symonds became Consultant Physician in Nervous Diseases at Guy’s Hospital and Physician at the National Hospital for Paralysis and Epilepsy. He was remembered as “the neurologist’s neurologist” following in Sir Gordon Holmes' footsteps. Internationally renowned and a frequent government consultant, this fly-fisherman, became Civilian Consultant Neurologist to the Royal Air Force in 1935 and was knighted in 1946. Symonds married Janet Poulton in 1915 (d. 1919); they had two sons. In 1920, Symonds married Edythe Dorton; they also had two sons.

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