Dr Samuel Elgee was born in Wexford in 1873 and after commencing his career in Middlebrough, spent nearly 30 years working at asylums under the control of London County Council, including The Manor, Colney Hatch, Ewell Colony (St Ebbas) and Cane Hill. From 1901 he was a member of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and was jointly responsible for scrutinising new members.
He became Medical Superintendent at Cane Hill in 1919, having previously deputised Dr. W. Ireland Donaldson as Medical Superintendent at Colney Hatch hospital during the war. As Colney Hatch functioned as a war hospital, Dr Elgee earned the titles of Lieutenant Colonel and was also awarded an OBE. During his 12 years at Cane Hill he promoted modernisation and attempts to reduce overcrowding, including the provision of additional nurses accommodation on the estate to prevent ward rooms from being allocated to nurses.
His 33 year mental health career ended in June 1931 when he retired his position as Cane Hill’s Medical Superintendent as a result of health issues, having endured periods of absence in which he was deputised by a Dr Pearn.