Frederick Batten was born at Plymouth, the third son of John Winterbotham Batten, Q.C, of London, and his wife Sarah, daughter of Samuel Derry, M.R.C.S. He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating as B.A. in 1887. His medical training took place at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where, after graduating as M.B, B.Ch, in 1891, he held house appointments, and in Berlin. His career was mainly associated with two institutions, the Hospital for Sick Children and the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic, on the staffs of which he served for many years, concentrating chiefly on diseases of the nervous system and their pathology. With Risien Russell and J. A. Collier, he did much to elucidate the characteristics of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord. In 1913, Batten, A. E. Garrod and Thursfield brought out a well-known textbook on Diseases of Children. As a children’s physician, he was in the first rank, and he displayed inventive talent in devising light celluloid splints for every form of infantile paralysis. He was Lumleian Lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians in 1916. His wife was Jean Evelyn, daughter of John J. Stevenson.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1918; B.M.J., 1918; Al.Cantab., ii, 187]