Dr Hector Munro

From: Penelope Fitzgerald’s Charlotte Mew and Her Friends (1984) Chapter Thirteen – ‘Never Confess’:

“From September to October (1914, May Sinclair) was in Belgium with an ambulance team sent out by the MedicoPsychological Unit and working with the Belgian Red Cross. The commandant was Dr Hector Munro, the clinic’s consultant. May acted as secretary and contributed a good deal of the funds. But she was used to organising things in her own way, and perhaps showed this a little too plainly…In October Dr Munro asked her to go home and appeal for more funds. While she was in England he sent a message to the War Office, telling them that on no account was Miss Sinclair to be allowed back to Belgium…”

Early British Psychoanalysis and the Medico-Psychological Clinic: Suzanne Raitt, in History Workshop Journal No. 58 (Autumn, 2004):

…the Medico-Psychological Clinic, also known as the Brunswick Square Clinicwas open between 1913 and 1922, and developed the first psychoanalytic training programme in Britain, as well as offering psychoanalysis and other forms of therapy to a range of patients, including shell-shocked soldiers.

Nowadays the Clinic is almost forgotten: Ernest Jones, in his zeal to establish his own primacy as father of the British movement, fails to mention it in his published reminiscences, even though some of the leading lights of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, under his presidency…received their first analysis or training there…”

From: Liberalism and the Rise of Labour, 1890-1918 (1986) by Keith Laybourn and Dr. Jack Reynolds:

“…Others campaigned strongly for the war effort and took themselves to France. Dr. Hector Munro, a prominent Bradford ILPer (Independent Labour Party) and sometime member of the Board of Guardians, went to France with an ambulance wagon at the beginning of the conflict…”

From: Paskauskas, R.A. (1993). The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones 1908-1939:

I hope your dear wife has recovered and you are in good health again. I saw Munro again (with two new Havana boxes!) and really got the impression he was not very reliable. Somehow I begin to catch a dislike against members of the Labour Party…

My health is good, I cannot take another patient until the vacancies, Rickman is excellent, Daly, who offered himself to you for two months after I leave, is a bore and an ass as you said. He is dissatisfied with my person.

My wife is still in Hamburg, Ernest is to be wedded to his bride May 18th in Berlin.

With sincere love to you and your wife



From: Mourning and Mysticism in First World War Literature and Beyond – Grappling with Ghosts by George Johnson:

“…(May Sinclair) very likely originated the idea of sending an ambulance unit to Belgium, choosing an eccentric Scottish doctor, Hector Munro, to lead it. Evidently she was attracted to him and idealised him, claiming that “he is not only a psychologist & psychotherapist, but a “psychic”, & he has the “psychic’s” uncanny power over certain people (they are generally women).”

From the website of the Dictionary of Irish Biography (entry on Russell, George William (‘Æ’), journalist, writer, artist, and cooperator, by Nicholas Allen):

“Russell now began preparation to leave Ireland, selling his house in July 1933, resigning from the academy in July, and arriving in London in August, where he first lived in lodgings at 41 Sussex Gardens. Unsettled, he left for America in December 1934, sailing from Southampton, to lecture on cooperative societies and rural life, subjects close to Franklin Roosevelt’s hopes for the New Deal. Russell met M. L. Wilson, under-secretary of agriculture, before meeting the president himself on 5 January 1935. Russell received an invitation to speak to native American communities in Arizona and New Mexico, but he felt ill and tired, and his stomach was giving him such pain as to cause him to return to London in March. In new lodgings at 14 Tavistock Place, London, Russell was diagnosed with colitis. He travelled to Havenhurst, a Bournemouth nursing home, on 21 June, in the company of two friends, Charles Weekes and Hector Munro. He was wretchedly ill, and the diagnosis of colitis was changed to cancer in early July. After an abdominal operation at another nursing home, Stagsden, Russell died 17 July 1935, having spent his last evening with Constantine Curran, Oliver St John Gogarty, and Pamela Travers, later famous as the author of Mary Poppins. Seán O’Sullivan arrived the morning after to sketch his face.”

From: Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers (2013) by Valerie Lawson:

“…(Russell) sailed home, again on the Aurania, arriving in mid-March 1935, and found new lodgings at 14 Tavistock Place, near Euston Station.

Pamela heard nothing more until late March, when AE wrote that he had “some inflammation in my insides and they are investigating me bacteriologically.” His doctor and friend, Hector Munro, diagnosed dysentery and ordered a diet of milk, barley water and junket. Pamela did not trust Munro. She sent AE barley sugar and homemade treats, and worried even more, although his letters to her in April reassured her that he was “getting better rapidly.”

…In the meantime, Munro decided to call in a specialist himself. AE saw a surgeon in Cavendish Square who X-rayed him seven times…He amused the doctor by telling him then of the chakras, the seven spiritual centres of the body, to which the doctor replied, “Oh surely not, Mr. Russell.”

…On June 14, he signed a new will. A week later he traveled to Bournemouth by train with Dr. Munro and Charles Weekes, a friend from London who had been his publisher and agent. AE had decided to stay at Havenhurst, the convalescent home of a Miss Phoebe Myers. He gave up his flat at Tavistock Place – the specialist thought he would be better out of London. At Havenhurst, overlooking the sea, he lay in a deck chair under the trees.

On July 4 he wrote Pamela a card, which she found an odd way of writing, for him, saying, “I don’t know how long I will be here. This is a lovely place but I wonder if I will ever get better. I am no further in spite of sun, sea air, kindness, that I often feel my holiday in this place is nearly over…”

From: Penelope Fitzgerald: Charlotte Mew and Her Friends (1984) Chapter Eleven – Mrs Sappho:

“…But when things were not running smoothly – and the Dawson Scott marriage had its difficulties – no-one could be more quietly understanding than Charlotte Mew. “We only have about half-an-hour” (on this earth), she wrote to her new friend. “Let’s do what we can.”

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