A letter (adapted here slightly) from Mrs Sheila Sturton dated 8th January 1996 provides a short history of SETSA.

‘While Dr Richard Sturton was an anaesthetic Registrar at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1949, the South West Thames Society was set up. So when he was a Consultant Anaesthetist with the Bromley Group in 1952 he decided to set up a South East Thames society. However, Dr Archie Marston at Guy’s thought that there were too many anaesthetic societies in London.

Dr Sturton decided instead to set up a local group with anaesthetists from Bromley, Dartford, Sevenoaks and Lewisham. This was called the South East London Anaesthetic Society with Dr Sturton being the first Secretary and later Chairman. Eventually Dr Russell Davies brought in East Grinstead and Dr Harry Blazeby brought in Canterbury.

It was a happy and successful group, so in 1959 another attempt was made to form a Regional Society. A meeting at King’s College hospital was attended by Dr Vernon Hall, Dr Archie Galley and Dr S A Mason from King’s with Dr Russell Davies and Dr Sturton from outside the teaching hospitals. The South East Thames Regional Anaesthetic Society was formed in 1960. Dr S A Mason was the first Secretary and Dr Sturton followed him in 1963-65.’

A short obituary for Dr Richard Sturton can be found in the BMJ, Volume 311, Page 1223 (4th November 1995).