David Ogilvy, M.D. (1872-1934)
Superintendent of Long Grove Mental Hospital (1912-1934)
Pollie Eaton Smith (1876-1967)
Matron of Horton Mental Hospital
David Ogilvy was born on 28 May 1872 in Dublin, the son of Justice of the Peace Alexander Ogilvy B.A., B.C., F.R.C.S.I., and his wife Frances (Fanny), formerly Barklie, nee Atkinson, who had married in 1867 and lived in Apsley Lodge, Rathgar, Co. Dublin. (F.R.C.S.I. = Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.)
David studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, during which time he excelled at rugby and played for his university. After distinguishing himself in surgery in his final exam, David gained his M.B., Master Surgeon and M.D. and on 18 February 1899 was registered as a doctor. For a while he held the post of Surgical Resident at the Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin before attending as a medical assistant at the Central Criminal Asylum in Dundrum. His interest in psychiatry was further influenced when he left Ireland and went to work with William Bevan Lewis, the pioneering Medical Superintendent at the Wakefield Asylum in Yorkshire.
William Bevan Lewis, who became the first Professor of Mental Diseases in England, believed that insanity was an unhealthy condition of the brain caused by a physical, rather than psychological, disorder. In 1882 he wrote the first textbook that described the human brain and in 1889 his textbook describing mental diseases was being used by most teaching hospitals and asylums.
By 1901 David, aged 28, had moved south to Surrey and was holding the post of third assistant medical officer under Dr. Claye Shaw at the Banstead Mental Hospital. When Horton Mental Hospital
opened in 1902, David transferred to become its Second Assistant and two years later, in 1904, was promoted to Senior Assistant Medical Officer. However, the Medical Register has his address in 1903 as still being 26 Rathgar Road, Dublin.
Postcard view of Horton Hospital, date not known
Image courtesy of Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre
His future wife, Pollie Eaton Smith, had been born in 1876 in Middleham, Yorkshire, the daughter of James and Mary Ann Smith (nee Eaton). She was bought up with her four sisters in Melrose Road House in Burngreave Cemetery, Brightside Beirlow, Yorkshire where their father worked as the foreman and gravedigger. Their mother Mary Ann died in 1888 but her maiden name Eaton was carried on as the middle name of her children and grandchildren.
By 1891 the family was living in the village of Bingley in Yorkshire. It seems that Pollie, aged 14, was called Nellie by her family and was working as a dressmaker. Her widowed father was by then working as a surveyor for the local board.
Over the next ten years she trained as a nurse and by 1901, aged 24 but claiming to be 26, was working as the assistant matron in the Claybury (London County) Lunatic Asylum in Barkingside, Ilford, Essex. She had however, become known professionally as Pauline Eaton Smith.
By 1911 David, aged 38, was working alongside Pollie, who was by then aged 34 and the matron of Horton Hospital.
The following year Sir Hubert Long, the medical superintendent of Long Grove Mental Hospital
, was appointed to the role of the Commissioner of the Board of Control. David was promoted to fill Sir Hubert's illustrious shoes, and in that same year David and Pollie were married in the registration district of Stratton, Cornwall. They returned to live for the next 22 years in the Superintendent's house, known as Long Grove House, in the grounds of Long Grove Mental Hospital.
Entrance to Long Grove Asylum and Superintendent's House
Photo courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum
David and Pollie's son was born in 1913 and baptised Alexander Eaton on 7 October 1913 in Christ Church, Epsom. He was named after his paternal grandfather who had died in Dublin on 14 June that same year. Probate of his grandfather's effects, valued at nearly £11,000, was granted to Alexander's father David and his aunt Ellen Dalrymple Ogilvy.
Alexander's sister Elaine Eaton was born on 2 December 1914 and baptised in Christ Church on 23 March 1915. His youngest sister Rosalind Mary Eaton, later known as Roddy, was baptised in the same church on 22 January 1917.
David had bought with him to Long Grove the influences of William Bevan Lewis and, although considered to have a conservative mind, was always open to new ideas. The British Medical Journal remarked that David;
"...took in the development, on progressive lines, of occupational therapy in both male and female wards, and the fact that to his persistent advocacy was due the employment of a male occupations therapist for the prosecution of helpful occupations among male patients in fuller measure than could, in his judgement, be secured by confining the initiation of such work to woman officers as was the case in other London mental hospitals."
David was also deeply involved with the work of the Mental After-Care Association for discharged patients, and served on their council. Under David's charge, Long Grove was one of the most up-to-date mental hospitals of its time.
Pollie and David's son Alexander, aged 14, entered the Royal Navy in Dartmouth in May 1927.
David, aged 61, had been suffering from bad health for some time before his death in his home on 13 May 1934. It is not known whether he was buried or cremated, or the whereabouts of his final resting place, but a memorial service was held for him the following Friday, 18 May, at 3pm in the Long Grove Chapel. At David's own request there was to be no flowers or mourning.
Long Grove Chapel from the air, bottom right
Photo courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum
Long Grove's chaplain, Rev. H. G. Gooding, officiated overall at David's memorial while the vicar of St. Barnabas, Rev. S. K. Anderson, read the lesson and the vicar of Epsom, Canon C. R. Pattison, gave a short address. Over a hundred people from Epsom and beyond, including Sir Hubert Long, attended the memorial with Pollie, Alexander
The vicar also expressed sympathy for the loss of Miss Elspeth MacRea, the matron of Long Grove who had been ill since January, and had died aged 50, in Cliftonville the morning after David's death. She had been appointed Long Grove's assistant matron in 1923 and promoted to matron two years later. During the First World War she had been on the nursing staff of the First General Scottish Hospital. It was proposed that the next Sunday service would include a memorial for the two people who had worked closely together for many years.
The British Medical Journal wrote on 2 June 1934:
"Dr. Ogilvy was held in esteem and affection alike by his medical colleagues, his staff, and his patients. His devotion to duty, his sense of justice, his outspoken cheerfulness, endeared him to all who came into contact with him. No difference of opinion left one in doubt as to his genuine honesty of purpose. He was a candid friend to those whose gained his confidence, and concealed beneath a certain genial bluntness of manner, one was ever conscious of an essentially humane and lovable personality."
Probate of David's effects, valued at £11,142 10s. 10d., was given to his widow Pollie Eaton Ogilvy and his friend Oates Wilson, a company director.
Dr. D. Hoole
The Times 1 March 1912, 15 May 1934
Epsom Advertiser 17 May 1934, 25 May 1934
British Medical Journal 2 June 1934