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Biographical entry Marcus, Raphael (1914 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1946; MB ChB Liverpool 1937; ChM 1948; MD 1950.

30 October 1914
4 March 2002
General surgeon


Raphael Marcus was a former consultant general surgeon at Clutterbridge Hospital, Merseyside. He was born in Liverpool on 30 October 1914, the only son of Samuel and Faigel née Dover, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. He grew up with a strong commitment to Jewish values. After qualifying from Liverpool University, he completed junior posts, before volunteering for the RAMC at the outbreak of war. He spent more than four years in India and Burma, serving in an emergency surgical unit in the jungle, where it was necessary to improvise basic equipment, including an operating light fashioned from polished jerry cans.

He was demobilised in the rank of acting Lieutenant Colonel in 1945 and returned to Liverpool. There he carried out research for his ChM thesis on the management of mediastinal tumours, and followed this with an MD thesis on the management of chronic retention. He worked with Sir Joseph Rotblat, later a Nobel laureate, on the use of radioisotopes in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid tumours, melanomatosis and in the measurement of renal function.

He was appointed consultant general surgeon at Clatterbridge Hospital in 1953, where he built up a great reputation and was much sought after by juniors seeking surgical training.

He was a man of boundless energy, and had many interests. A prominent participant in the annual meetings of British Association of Urological Surgeons and the Association of Surgeons, he continued to pursue research into the pathogenesis of diverticular disease and ulcerative colitis long after a coronary and into retirement. Two of his medical sons joined him in his research.

He was predeceased by his wife, Hilda née Kaufmann, in 1985. She has been credited with being a remarkable woman whose unstinting support left him free to concentrate on his work. They had three sons and two daughters, four of whom followed him into medicine. There are 15 grandchildren. He died at the age of 87 on 4 March 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2002 324 1587, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England