MB ChB Manch 1948, MD 1954; DPM Lond 1950.
Tonge was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire on 24 April 1925 and was educated at William Hulme's Grammar School and the University of Manchester. He held resident appointments at MRI and Holloway Sanatorium and in 1951 was appointed registrar to the department of psychiatry at MRI. Tonge was a member of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association and the Society for the Study of Addiction. He was deputy medical superintendent to Cheadle Royal Hospital and worked for the MRC Unit for Research in Social Psychiatry before being appointed consultant psychiatrist to Sheffield Royal Infirmary.