Lives of the fellows

John Michael Winn

b.15 November 1917 d.16 June 1982
BA Cantab(1939) MRCS LRCP(1942) MRCP(1950) DMRD(1951) FRCP(1969)

Michael Winn’s final years were marred by a succession of devastating illnesses that would have defeated a lesser man, but almost to the end he continued to work and take a lively interest in the General Infirmary, Leeds. He had returned to Leeds in 1950 to study radiodiagnosis at the Infirmary, and soon distinguished himself as an extremely able radiologist. In 1954 he was appointed consultant radiologist and found his main interest in neuroradiology. He set out to develop a first rate neuroradiology service in Yorkshire, extending it to cover the neurological units at Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds, and Pinderfields General Hospital, Wakefield. He proved himself to be an excellent organizer and administrator, encouraging the appointment of able younger consultants and cooperating with them and his colleages at St James’s Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary in setting up an excellent postgraduate training scheme.

During his period as chairman of the department of radiodiagnosis he gave all his energy, and much of his spare time, to replanning, extending, and re-equipping the department with great success. In 1974, with the reorganization of the Health Service, he became consultant member of the district management team. No better man could have been appointed: he had a gift for grasping essentials, for deflating pomposity and pretension — whether medical or administrative - a wide experience of people and many personal contacts. He made an immense contribution to the development of the health service in Leeds at a very critical period.

Winn was born in Helston, Cornwall, the son of Frederick Arnold Winn and his wife Winifred Jane (née Hall) whose father was a headmaster. He was educated at Leighton Park School, Reading, Queen’s College, Cambridge, and Leeds University Medical School, qualifying in 1942. He was appointed casualty officer at Birmingham Accident Hospital, where he met his wife Cecilia Neville-Jones, widow of a physician and daughter of Joseph Rath. They married in 1944; there was a son, John, of the marriage and a stepdaughter, Pauline.

From 1944 to 1946 Winn saw service with the RAMC, first with No 6 Light Field Ambulance in Italy, and then in India, being promoted to the rank of major. On demobilization he returned to the Midlands and to registrar posts at the General Hospital, Birmingham, and the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital. In 1949 he was appointed house physician to St James’s Hospital, Balham, before returning to Leeds in 1950.

Mike Winn was a brilliant raconteur and had a wonderful sense of fun. He enjoyed mimicry and had a lifelong interest in accents and languages. He was also a warmhearted man with a great gift for friendship; approachable and courteous, he was always ready to help with personal or professional problems. Both he and his wife Cecilia were very hospitable and he found much happiness in his home, in his family life, and in his grandchildren. He was survived by his wife and children.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Valérie Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1982, 285, 982]

(Volume VII, page 616)

<< Back to List