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Biographical entry Box, Charles Richard (1866 - 1951)

MRCS 14 May 1891; FRCS 8 June 1893; LRCP 1891; MRCP 1897; FRCP 1906; BSc London 1889; MB BS 1892; MD 1893.

3 March 1866
3 April 1951
Anatomist and Physician


Born on 3 March 1866, the son of the Rev John Box and his wife Sarah Bray. He was educated at Dulwich College, and started work in business in the City. Finding this uncongenial he entered St Thomas's Hospital medical school, where his student career was brilliant. He took honours in physiology in 1889, and in medicine and obstetric medicine at the London University graduation in 1892, having qualified through the Conjoint Board the previous year. Although he took the Fellowship of the College in 1893, he decided to practise as a physician, and took the London MD in the same year.

He was appointed medical registrar at St Thomas's Hospital in 1894 and held the post for three years. He became resident assistant physician in 1897, and took the Membership of the College of Physicians. He was appointed an assistant physician in 1900 and elected FRCP in 1906. He was in charge of the children's department, became physician in 1915 and consulting physician on retirement in 1926. Throughout almost his whole connexion with the hospital he acted as demonstrator of morbid anatomy (till 1919), and carried out most of the post-mortem examinations.

He was also chairman of the medical and surgical officers committee. In the medical school he was successively lecturer in medicine and applied anatomy, medical tutor and sub-dean. During the war of 1914-18 he served at the 5th London General Hospital with the rank of major, RAMC. He was also physician, and ultimately consulting physician, to the Royal Masonic Hospital, the London Fever Hospital, and the Willesden General Hospital. He examined in medicine for the Universities of London and Birmingham, for the English Conjoint Board and the Society of Apothecaries. At the Apothecaries he was long a member of the Court and might have been Master, had he not been living in Devonshire, during the war of 1939-45. At the Royal College of Physicians he was a councillor, and a Censor in 1930-31; he delivered the Lumleian lectures in 1933 on "Complications of the specific fevers". Box was a skilled diagnostician, and a practical and watchful physician. His attitude to innovations was somewhat cynical, but he had an encyclopaedic and precise knowledge of medical literature, which was put to good use in his few masterly publications. His writings on fevers were authoritative. He was an honorary member of the British Paediatric Association.

Box practised at 2 Devonshire Place, and lived latterly at 1 Harley House, Regent's Park. He married in 1905 Marian Jane, daughter of George Thyer of Bridgwater, Somerset, who survived him. He died in St Thomas's Hospital on 3 April 1951, aged 84, and was cremated at Streatham Vale. A memorial service was held in the chapel of St Thomas's Hospital on 11 April. He left £1,000 to the Society of Apothecaries, and his residuary estate to St Thomas's Hospital to form the Box fund for helping students. Box's interests lay entirely in his practice and his pathological work. He had few relaxations, but enjoyed an annual holiday in the Channel Isles.

Edited St Thomas's Hospital Medical Reports, 1893-6.
Clinical applied anatomy, with W McAdam Eccles. London: Churchill, 1906. Post-mortem manual, a handbook of morbid anatomy and post-mortem technique [the same]. 1910, 2nd ed 1919.
Fevers, in A textbook of the practice of medicine, edited by F Price. Oxford, 1926, and subsequent editions.
Complications of specific fevers, Lumleian Lectures, RCP 1933. Lancet, 1933, 1, 1217, 1271, 1327.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 5 April 1951, p 6d and 12 April, memorial service and 11 July 1951, will; Brit med J. 1951, 1, 823 by J P Hedley, FRCP, S and OG, with portrait, and 1951, 2, 556, will; Lancet, 1951, 1, 859 with portrait and appreciation by R C Jewesbury, FRCP; St Thos Hosp Gaz. 1951, 49, 133, with portrait; information from Mrs Box].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England