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Hulke, John Whitaker

HULKE, JOHN WHITAKER (1830-1895), British surgeon and geologist, was born on the 6th of November 1830, being the son of a well-known medical practitioner at Deal. He was educated partly at a boarding-school in this country, partly at the Moravian College at Neuwied (1843-1845), where he gained an intimate knowledge of German and an interest in geology through visits to the Eifel district. He then entered King's College school, and three years later commenced work at the hospital, becoming M.R.C.S. in 1852. In the Crimean War he volunteered, and was appointed (1855) assistant-surgeon at Smyrna and subsequently at Sebastopol. On returning home he became medical tutor at his old hospital, was elected F.R.C.S. in 1857, and afterwards assistant-surgeon to the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields (1857), and surgeon (1868-1890). In 1870 he became surgeon at the Middlesex hospital, and here much of his more important surgical work was accomplished. His skill as an operator was widely known: he was an excellent general surgeon, but made his special mark as an ophthalmologist, while as a geologist he attained a European reputation. He was elected F.R.S. in 1867 for his researches on the anatomy and physiology of the retina in man and the lower animals, particularly the reptiles. He subsequently devoted all his spare time to geology and especially to the fossile reptilia, describing many remains of Dinosaurs, to our knowledge of which as well as of other Saurians he largely contributed. In 1887 the Wollaston medal was awarded to him by the Geological Society of London. He was president of both the Geological and Pathological Societies in 1883, and president of the Royal College of Surgeons from 1893 until his death. He was a man with a wide range of knowledge not only of science but of literature and art. He died in London on the 19th of February 1895.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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