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Photographs supplied by John Huth

The statue commemorates Dr William Russ Pugh, the first doctor to use ether in surgery in Australia.

William Russ Pugh (1806 – 1897) was a medical practitioner credited with administering the first surgical anaesthetic in the southern hemisphere. Pugh received instruction in Edinburgh and Dublin, and in 1835 set up practice in Launceston. An enthusiastic experimenter, he produced coal gas to light his house, and the ether for his anaesthetics.

On 7 June 1847 he performed two operations at St John`s Hospital, removing a tumour from a woman`s jaw and cataracts from a man, under ether anaesthesia. That day he wrote an account of the procedures for the Australian Medical Journal.


Address:St John & Elizabeth Streets, Princes Park, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.440738
Long: 147.141034
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:07-June-1847
Actual Event End Date:07-June-1847
Artist:Peter Corlett (Melbourne, VIC)
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 7th June, 1997
Front Inscription

7 June 1847

First use of Ether for surgery in Australia

William Russ Pugh administered ether to "Mrs L" for the removal of a tumour from the jaw at St. John`s Hospital, now Morton House  180 Charles Street Launceston

Sculptor : Peter Corlett
7 June 1997

Source: MA , ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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