Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Herschell, Woolf (1903 - 1977)

MRCS and FRCS 1949; BA Cape Town 1927; MB ChB 1931.

South Africa
27 January 1977
Orthopaedic surgeon


Woolf Herschell was born in South Africa in 1903 and did his medical training at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, qualifying BA MB Cape Town in 1931. After holding a number of medical appointments in Cape Town he came to England in 1940, and worked at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore as resident surgical officer. Due to diabetes he was unfit for medical service and stayed on at Stanmore until the end of the war. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1949. At this stage he decided to make England his home and orthopaedics his career. He was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon in the Windsor Group of Hospitals in 1950. He was a great help in building up the accident and orthopaedic service in the Windsor area. Despite his medical disability he was a loyal and hard working colleague, seeing large numbers of outpatients, doing long operating lists, and taking his turn in all the emergency work. He had always been interested in orthopaedic appliances since his days at Stanmore, and did much to ensure that such appliances were made to a high standard.

He returned to South Africa on holiday on several occasions to visit relatives and friends. In his private life Willie, as he was known to his friends, was a collector of objets d'art, particularly Goss china of which he had an excellent collection. He was a lover of good food and had a considerable knowledge of wine which he had acquired on his frequent European holidays. He died on 27 January 1977, aged 70 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from G P Arden and M Swann].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England