Lives of the fellows

Lionel Wolman

b.9 December 1920 d.24 April 1969
BA Cantab(1941) MB BChir(1944) MA(1945) MRCP(1946) DPM(1950) MD(1952) PhD Sheff(1963) MCPath(1964) FCPath(1967) FRCP(1969)

Lionel Wolman was born at Colwyn Bay, North Wales. His father, Mark Wolman, was born in Russia and lived subsequently in Manchester and then Southport. He was a tailor and later owned a drapery business. His mother was Sophie Rose, whose parents Rachel and David Rose were born in Russia and had a picture framing business in Blackburn and later in Manchester. Lionel was educated at Manchester Grammar School, where he was Foundation Scholar and Langworthy Scholar, and won both an open scholarship to Peterhouse, Cambridge, and a Manchester City Council Medical Scholarship. At Peterhouse he was a State Scholar, gained the AR Graham Prize and obtained first class honours in pathology.

Wolman did his clinical studies at Manchester and qualified MB Bchir (Cantab) in 1944. He later became a Fearnsides Research Scholar, University of Cambridge, 1947, and in 1950 a Canadian Federal Mental Health Scholar in the University of Toronto. His resident appointments were held at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Ancoats Hospital and Stockton Infirmary. He was clinical assistant in general medicine and medical first assistant, Department of Nervous Diseases, Sheffield Royal Infirmary and Hospital. These posts were followed by an assistantship to J.G. Greenfield in the Neuropathological Laboratory, National Hospitals, Queen Square, and did his National Service as a Squadron-Leader in the RAF, as neuropsychiatrist at Princess Mary’s Hospital, Hatton. After a travelling fellowship in neuropathology in Canada and USA, he obtained a succession of appointments in neuropathology in Sheffield.

From 1955 to 1969, Lionel Wolman was the neuropathologist of the Department of Neurosurgery of the Sheffield Royal Infirmary, the focal point of neurosurgery of the Sheffield Hospital Region. His knowledge of the clinical course of the patients whose pathological condition was under investigation enabled him to make a unique contribution to the bedside discussions, clinico-pathological conferences and postgraduate meetings in the Department. Wolman helped to organize the North of England Neurological Association, on whose Council he served. He travelled widely in Europe and America and was to have read a paper at the International Congress in Neuropathology in Moscow during the week after his death. He was a founder member of the Neuropathological Society which evolved from that Club.

Lionel was supremely unassuming and yet a warm-hearted man who was always ready to help others. He married, in 1955, Estelle Davidson, daughter of Reuben Davidson, director of a wholesale gown business in Liverpool. They had two boys and a girl, and to this family Lionel Wolman gave all the time and devotion which his demanding work allowed.

Sir Charles Stuart-Harris
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme

[Brit.med.J., 1969, 2, 387, 640; Lancet, 1969, 1, 990; J. Neurol. Sci., 1970, 10, 501]

(Volume VI, page 474)

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