Andrew Rugg-Gunn (1884–1972), Scottish eye surgeon, and pupil of F. M. Alexander.
Rugg-Gunn graduated in medicine in 1907 from Edinburgh University and went into general practice. During WW1 he served in both Italy and India. After the War he settled in London (he had a clinic in Harley Street) and became senior ophthalmic surgeon to the Western Ophthalmic Hospital, the central Middlesex County Hospital, and the Metropolitan Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, London. In 1925 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Rugg-Gunn was active in several London medical societies. He was a pioneer prescriber of contact lenses and contributed to the design of certain ophthalmic instruments. He wrote several medical articles and one book, Diseases of the Eye (1933).
Connection with F. M. Alexander
Rugg-Gunn was a pupil, supporter and friend of Alexander. He was also Alexander’s optician and eye doctor. He prescribed glasses for Alexander following Alexander’s stroke in 1947. The story of Alexander’s double vision correcting itself is related in a letter by F. M. Alexander to Mungo and Sydney Douglas, and was also related by Walter Carrington.
‘A New Profession’ (in Women’s Employment, 1931) introduces and recommends the Alexander Technique as a new profession and refers to Alexander’s teacher training course. Alexander wrote that in this article Rugg-Gunn ‘pointed out the advantages for young people of taking up this work as a professional career . . .’
‘F. Matthias Alexander and the Problem of Animal Behaviour’ (1940) discusses Alexander’s work in the light of reflexes and proprioception with references to the work of Rudolf Magnus and George Coghill.
‘Physiological gradients’ (1961) is on embryonic development, with reference to Coghill’s work. (This subject was expanded upon in his unfinished book, ‘Posture and Allied Processes in Man’.)
In the unfinished MS for a book, ‘Posture and Allied Processes in Man’, from the 1950s and early 1960s, Rugg-Gunn tried to correlate developmental organisation of the organism with the Alexander Technique. An online PDF version is available in the Library section of the Mouritz website.
Andrew Rugg-Gunn (1884–†1 September 1972)