Lives of the fellows

James Maxwell

b.8 January 1901 d.11 June 1962
MB BS Lond(1924) MD Lond(1925) MRCS LRCP(1923) MRCP(1925) FRCP(1935)

James Maxwell was born at Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, the son of William Maxwell and Janet, née Walker. He was educated at Highgate School, which he entered as a foundation scholar. He entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1918, and obtained the medical Brackenbury scholarship and the Bailey prize, and subsequently became a Rose research fellow.

After qualifying he was house physician to the medical unit at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and in 1926 chief assistant to the children’s department and junior demonstrator in pathology. In 1931 he was appointed chief assistant to C. M. Hinds Howell and F. G. Chandler, and subsequently elected assistant physician to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1936. He was also physician to the Royal Chest Hospital, City Road, and consultant physician to the Royal National Sanatorium at Bournemouth, together with several other minor appointments.

During the whole of the Second World War he worked in the St. Bartholomew’s Sector Hospital at Friern Barnet. He resigned from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1945 and was subsequently elected consultant physician to the Hospital.

Maxwell excelled as an undergraduate teacher. His ability to stress the important points, to demonstrate physical signs and to interpret them, helped students to clarify their thoughts. While his special interest was in chest diseases he was a very good all-round physician. Although he was pompous in manner and often sarcastic, his sarcasm was in good humour. His written work was always clear and easily understood and his English excellent, for Maxwell was a widely read scholar who liked contrasts, enjoying both the classics and detective novels.

In June 1936 he married Elizabeth Nanne, daughter of David Evans, gentleman farmer, of Wenvoe, Cardiff. There were no children from their marriage which unfortunately broke up. He subsequently married in May 1948 Dinah, daughter of Herbert John George, meat broker. They had one son.

Richard R Trail

[Brit. J. clin. Pract., 1962, 16, 569; Brit.med.J., 1962, 1, 1769; Lancet, 1962, 1, 1361-2.]

(Volume V, page 273)

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