Lives of the fellows

Otto Henry Johann Maxwell Telling

b.5 March 1911 d.2 November 1980
BA Oxon(1933) BM BCh(1936) MRCS LRCP(1936) MRCP(1938) MA DM(1942) FRCP(1946)

Max Telling was born at Leeds, the son of Maxwell Telling, consulting physician to the General Infirmary at Leeds, and Ingeborg Aagaard of Denmark. From Shrewsbury he won a classical scholarship to University College, Oxford, but he returned to Leeds for his clinical training. After house appointments at Leeds he became first assistant to George Graham at Bart’s. He then went to the London Chest Hospital as house physician, later becoming medical registrar.

Soon after the outbreak of war he was seconded to the Emergency Medical Service and later became assistant physician at Goodmayes Hospital, Ilford. In 1942 he joined the RAMC and served in North Africa and Italy as a medical specialist, eventually becoming lieutenant colonel i/c a medical division.

After the war he spent a short time as physician to Clare Hall Co. Hospital before being appointed assistant physician to the General Infirmary at Leeds in 1948, eventually retiring in 1976 as senior physician. He was also senior clinical lecturer in medicine to the University of Leeds and for some years was consulting physician to St James’s Hospital and the Leeds Public Dispensary and Hospital.

Telling was a general physician in the orthodox mould with a special interest in chest diseases. He was a most careful and conscientious physician with a strong sense of duty to his patients, colleagues and students. He examined in medicine at Leeds and for the Royal College of Physicians. The style of his publications reflected his classical education, which was also the basis of his skill as a precise, effective teacher and lecturer.

His powerful physique was an asset for the football and cricket he greatly enjoyed as a young man, and contributed to his skill as an expert carpenter in later life. As a senior Freemason he had a very wide circle of friends in many walks of life. He spent many of his vacations in a caravan in Scotland and was a dedicated bird watcher. He was an expert on port, a gourmet and a devoted Savoyard.

His last ten years were marred by a severe, disabling illness which he bore with great fortitude, supported by his devoted wife. In 1940 he married Dorothy (Jerry), daughter of Valentine Henry Gordon, a Glasgow graduate who practised in Australia, where she was born, and later in England. They had one daughter.

D Taverner

[Brit.med.J., 1981, 282, 79; Lancet, 1981, 1, 57]

(Volume VII, page 573)

<< Back to List