Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Maxwell, Robert John Cecil (1903 - 1961)

MRCS and FRCS 12 June 1930; MB BCh BAO Belfast 1925; MCh 1930.

10 May 1961
General surgeon


Born in 1903, the eldest son of Robert John and Harriett Maxwell of Bushtown, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, he was educated at Queen's University, Belfast, obtaining honours in his final examinations. He served as house physician and house surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, worked as a postgraduate at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and then became resident surgical officer at the Royal Hospital, Salford.

In the mid-thirties he contracted tuberculosis and had to spend two years in Switzerland; towards the end of the time he worked as an assistant physician at the Schatzalp Sanatorium in Davos, coming under the influence of Maurer, one of the leading exponents of endoscopic division of intrapleural adhesions impeding artificial pneumothorax.

In this country he worked under J E H Roberts and Sir Clement Price-Thomas, and from 1939 until his retirement in 1946 he was surgeon at Milford (Surrey County Council) Sanatorium. He retired owing to ill health but continued to write, but short stories rather than medical papers. In all his writings he showed a fine command of language and wrote beautiful prose. A kindly, scrupulous man he was always searching for new lines of treatment.

He died at his home in Coleraine on 10 May 1961.

Bilateral lobar pneumothorax (a letter). Brit med J 1937, 2, 635.
Closed intrapleural pneumolysis. Brit J Surg 1940, 27, 527.
Transpleural drainage of tuberculous cavities. Brit J Tuberc 1943, 37, 24.
Readhesion after intrapeural cauterisation. J thorac Surg 1945, 14, 194.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 11 May 1961, no memoir; Brit med J 1961, 1, 1549].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England