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Biographical entry Magell, Jack (1928 - 2005)

MRCS and FRCS 1959; MB BCh Wales 1950.

22 October 1928
Cardiff, UK
6 February 2005
General surgeon


Jack Magell was a consultant general surgeon at Blackburn Royal Infirmary and Accrington Victoria Hospital. He was greatly admired by his colleagues and his trainees were devoted to him for the support he provided and the good grounding he gave to them for their future careers.

Jack’s father, Abraham Magilner (later Magell), came from Vilna in Russia (Vilnius in Lithuania) at the age of 19 and became a watchmaker in Llanelli, Wales. The family of Jack’s mother, Ida Polotovski (later Paul), came to the UK around 1910. Abraham and Ida married in 1912 and had three children, George, Angela and Jack, who was born in Cardiff on 22 October 1928. Jack went to Cardiff High School, from which he entered Cardiff Medical School at the age of 16, qualifying in 1950. He was a senior house officer at Llandough Hospital and a surgical registrar at Bridgend Hospital. He was much influenced by Lambert Rogers and Arnold Aldis. He went to be a registrar at New End Hospital in London, where he gained experience in thyroid diseases.

Jack did his National Service in the RAMC, serving in Singapore and in Malaysia, mainly in Kluang, Johor state.

Following his demobilisation, he trained as a senior registrar in general surgery at the Maelor Hospital, Wrexham. During his training he spent a year in America as an instructor in surgery at the University of Illinois, Chicago, under Warren Cole. He published several papers, including one on the use of anticancer agents for the control of tumour growth in the peritoneal cavity. He also studied the role of bile salts in the dissolution of gallstones. He was appointed to his consultant post in Blackburn in 1965.

He was married twice. He met his first wife, Naida Payne, a theatre sister, in Wrexham. They had two children: Tanya became a lawyer and Alex is a chartered accountant in Sark. Naida died in May 1985 and Jack subsequently met and married Jeanne, who herself had four children, Antony, Michael, Christopher and Karen. Jack and Jeanne had 20 happy years together, and had nine grandchildren between them. Jack Magell died on 6 February 2005. He was survived by Jeanne (who died in 2006), his daughter Tanya and son Alex.

N Alan Green

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Alex Magell; Tanya Magell; Robert Watson; George Teturswarmy; Michael Mahoney].