Captain Stewart Ranken Douglas (1871-1936)
Stewart Ranken Douglas was born in Caterham in March 1871 and studied medicine before joining the Indian Medical Service, becoming a surgeon lieutenant in 1898, then captain. While in India he unfortunately contracted amoebic dysentery, fell ill and was discharged from service in 1901. He later embarked upon treatment with emetine bismuth-iodide, monitored by Clifford Dobell. Although cured of infection, he continued to suffer ill-effects. He joined St. Mary’s Hospital as a bacteriologist, and in 1914 was appointed by the MRC as chief assistant to Sir Almroth Wright. He became Director of the Department of Bacteriology and Experimental Pathology at NIMR, performing studies on vaccinia and canine distemper. More interested in cooperation and the interchange of ideas than in individual endeavour, Douglas had “a real genius for encouragement and for quietly lubricating the machinery of co-operation,” according to his obituary by Dale. He was Deputy Director of the Institute from 1928 until his death on 26 January 1936.