Sessions Hodge, Ralph 1904 - 1959


(1904-1959), neuropsychiatrist

Ralph Sessions Hodge was born in Lancashire on 28 September 1904. He was educated at Sidcot School, Somerset before pursuing his medical degree at University College Hospital. After qualifying in 1930, he became house-surgeon at West Herts Hospital and began a general medical practice in Crewkerne, Somerset. In the late 1930s, he turned his attention to neurology and psychiatry, taking up a post as clinical assistant at the West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases in 1939 as well as collaborating with researchers at the Burden Neurological Institute, Bristol.

During the Second World War, Hodge developed an interest in child psychiatry following the challenges of evacuation and took a lead role in developing a child guidance service in Somerset. With his psychiatric specialty now taking up most of his time, Hodge resigned from general practice and became a consultant in neurology and psychiatry at Bridgwater Hospital, Somerset. A later move to Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton placed Hodge within a department with the first electroencephalographic (EEG) machine in Britain. Finally, in 1948, Hodge received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and became consultant neuropsychiatrist at Taunton and Somerset Hospital, a position which he held for the rest of his life. During the 1950s, Hodge continued his collaborations with researchers at the Burden Neurological Institute, conducting investigations into criminology, juvenile delinquency, and the treatment of sex offenders.

Hodge was married twice, first to Margaret Griffin in 1930, and then to Grace Neal in 1958, just a few months before his death. He died on 31 January 1959.