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Biographical entry Damanski, Marek (1897 - 1980)

FRCS ad eundem 1967; MD Lwow 1923.

22 May 1897
Laka, Poland
5 June 1980
General surgeon, Geriatrician, Medical Officer and Urologist


Marek Damanski was born in Laka, East Poland on 22 May, 1897. He was the only son of a doctor of medicine and attended grammar school in Lwow before entering the University there. After graduating MD in 1923 he worked for two years in general surgery and then eight years in urology at the State General Hospital, Lwow, as well as six months in the urological clinic of the Necker Hospital, Paris. In 1932 he was appointed urologist at a policlinic for the local railway employees and became a member of the International Society of Urology in 1939. He had already been called up before the outbreak of the second world war and his consulting rooms were destroyed in early bombing by which time he was serving with No 6 Military Hospital. Shortly after this he was in Russian occupied territory and later worked in the Ukraine and Siberia where he is said to have suffered terrible privations. After Russia entered the second world war he joined the Polish Corps which subsequently moved through Iran to come under the command of the British Middle East and Central Mediterranean Forces. As a result of this, and fortunately being reunited with his wife in France, he settled in England, initially as medical officer to No 3 Polish Hospital, Penley.

In 1949 he was appointed senior medical officer to the Liverpool paraplegic centre at Southport. His dedicated work there resulted in his being promoted to consultant in charge, and it is said that his tirelessness and perfectionism played a large part in raising the standard of management of paraplegics in Britain and abroad. He was intensely interested in clinical research and published more than two dozen papers. As a result of all this he was most fittingly awarded the FRCS ad eundem in 1967.

Marek Damanski was a man of true old-world courtesy who endeared himself to colleagues and staff, and whose patients trusted him implicitly. When due for retirement he was deemed irreplaceable for a further three years after which he continued in great demand as a locum geriatrician. He died on 5 June 1980 and was survived by his wife, Irene Rauch, who was a great source of strength to him and a talented portrait painter. Their only daughter, a girl then aged 13, disappeared without trace during the German occupation, but they both maintained a dignified silence about this.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1980, 280, 1625].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England