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Biographical entry Maxwell, William Henry (1874 - 1945)

MRCS 2 November 1899; FRCS 10 December 1903; BA Cambridge 1896; MA MB 1900; LRCP 1899.

22 April 1874
15 December 1945
Johannesburg, South Africa
Obstetric physician


Born at Blackheath on 22 April 1874, the eldest child and only son of Captain William Maxwell, merchant navy, and his wife, née Dobell. He was educated at Weymouth College and Trinity College, Cambridge, of which he was sizar and exhibitioner. He took first-class honours in part 1, 1896, of the Natural Sciences Tripos and second-class honours in part 2, 1897, and then entered the London Hospital, where he later served as house physician, house surgeon, assistant anaesthetist and resident accoucheur. He was also resident medical officer at the London Temper¬ance Hospital.

Maxwell went to South Africa in 1905 and was appointed physician to the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women at Johannesburg. He practised at 199 Jeppe Street. During the first world war he served in the South African Medical Corps with the rank of major, to which he was commissioned on 5 January 1916. Maxwell was elected to the staff of the Johannesburg General Hospital in 1922, and was appointed consultant obstetric physician on his retirement in 1936. Maxwell married in 1905 Gladys D Baker, who survived him with a son and daughter. He died on 15 December 1945 in the General Hospital, from congestive heart failure after eighteen months' illness, aged 70. Maxwell practised latterly at 118 Lister Buildings and lived at Sunnyside, Parktown, Johannesburg.


Observations on the operation of hysteropexy. Transvaal med J 1906, 1, 379.
Prophylaxis of difficult labour. Transvaal med J 1908, 3, 196.
Chronic inflammatory condition of the Fallopian tubes, with especial reference to operation. S Afr med Rec 1908, 6, 373.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Mrs W H Maxwell].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England