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Biographical entry Ryan, Charles Snodgrass (1853 - 1926)

20 September 1853
Longwood, Victoria, Australia
23 October 1926
at sea
Surgeon and Ornithologist


Sir Charles Ryan was a surgeon with the (Royal) Melbourne Hospital from 1878 until his retirement in 1913 and honorary medical officer at the Children's Hospital from 1883-1913. He was a grandson of John Cotton (qv) and a brother of Ellis Rowan. A keen ornithologist and photographer, he enthusiastically supported bird protection, the introduction of nature study in schools and the holding of an annual Bird Day.


Born Longwood, Victoria, 20 September 1853. Died on board the "Otranto", near Adelaide, 23 October 1926. CB 1916, CMB, KBE 1919. Educated Universities of Melbourne (1870-72) and Edinburgh (MB, CM 1875). Served as a surgeon with the Turkish army 1876-78; surgeon, (Royal) Melbourne Hospital 1878-1913 (then consulting surgeon); honorary medical officer, Children's Hospital 1883-1913 (then consulting surgeon); chief medical officer, Victorian Railways 1903-24. Captain, Volunteer Medical Service 1878, principal medical officer, Victoria 1902, honorary physician to the governor-general 1904, assistant director of medical services, 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force 1914-16, consulting surgeon, medical headquarters staff, A.I.F. 1916-17, honorary surgeon-general, Australian Military Forces 1917-19. President, Medical Society of Victoria 1893; Turkish consul, Victoria for some years; President, Australasian Ornithologists' Union 1905-07.

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Published resources

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Journal Articles

  • Ryan, C., 'President's address: the protection of native birds', Emu, 6 (95-103) (1907). Details


See also

  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001), 492 pp. Details

Rosanne Walker