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Biographical entry Wiggishoff, Cyril Charles (1923 - 2015)

BA Oxford 1948; BM BCh 1950; FRCS 1955; FRCS Edin 1955.

17 March 1923
Paris, France
20 February 2015
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


Cyril Charles Wiggishoff was chief of staff at St Joseph's Hospital, Chicago. He was born in Paris, France, on 17 March 1923, the son of Charles Cecil Wiggishoff, company director of his family's perfumery factory, and Marguerite Wiggishoff née Rouy. His paternal great grandfather, Jacques Charles Wiggishoff, was mayor of Montmartre and a noted bibliophile. From the age of five, Wiggishoff was raised in South Africa by an aunt and uncle. He was encouraged to read and developed a lifelong passion for books.

He attended Durban Preparatory High School and, at the age of 17, gained an open scholarship to study medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. After two years, he enlisted as an able seaman in the South African Navy. He was at first assigned to a Norwegian whaling vessel, which had been adapted to fight. He was later commissioned as a sub-lieutenant, volunteered for submarine service and served with the Royal Navy's Seventh Submarine Squadron at Rothesay, Scotland.

At the end of the Second World War, he returned to his medical studies, this time at Brasenose College, Oxford. He qualified in 1950 and held house posts at the Radcliffe Infirmary. He later trained at Manchester Royal Infirmary and St Peter's Hospital for the Stone, London.

In the late 1950s, he went to Chicago, to the University of Illinois, as a Fulbright fellow. He then went back to Johannesburg in private practice, but returned to Chicago to continue his career in surgery. He spent 23 years as chief of staff at St Joseph's Hospital and was also a clinical associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago.

Outside medicine he enjoyed history, wine, travel and sailing.

In 1948, he married Stella Kyle. They had a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Michele. He later married Marianne. In 1987, he and his wife moved to Fountain Hills in Arizona. Cyril was president of the friends of the local library. He died on 20 February 2015 at the age of 91.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Fountain Hills Times 23 February 2015 - accessed 16 April 2018].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England