Lives of the fellows

Wladyslaw Essigman

b.10 January 1923 d.18 July 2012
MB BCh BAO Belfast (1953) MRCGP(1960) MRCP(1968) FRCP(1982)

Wladyslaw Essigman was a consultant physician in the department of rheumatology at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. Born in Warsaw, Poland, he was the son of Lucyna née Przepiovka and her husband Norbert Essigman, who had been a senior ophthalmic surgeon to the Polish forces that constituted part of the British VIII Army in the Middle East and during the Italian campaign in the Second World War. Educated at a grammar school in Warsaw, he began his medical studies at the University of Bologna in Italy before enlisting with the Polish Army and serving in the USSR. After spending time in a Russian labour camp from 1941 to 1942 he was on active service with the Polish 2nd Corps under British command.

Demobilised in 1946, he moved to the UK and continued his medical studies at Queen's University, Belfast and the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH). Qualifying in 1953, he did house jobs at the RVH until July the following year and then joined the staff of St Margaret's Hospital in Epping, Essex. After a few months he moved to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at the Hammersmith Hospital and then became clinical assistant at the cardiothoracic unit of the Central Middlesex Hospital where he stayed for four years. He then went to the Willesdon General Hospital for two years as a clinical assistant from 1964 to 1966. Following this he spent a year as a senior registrar in each of the departments of physical medicine and rheumatology at the Central Middlesex and the Westminster hospitals respectively and a year at Queen Mary's, Roehampton. After a year in general practice in London he was appointed a consultant rheumatologist to the Bedford and Hitchin group of hospitals in 1970. Four years later he joined the Lister group of hospitals, based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. From 1982 he was a clinical teacher on the faculty of medicine at Cambridge University.

He loved linguistics and took great pride in his ability to speak three foreign languages, as well as English and his native Polish.

In 1955 he married Hanna Janina née Reszczynski, whose father Alexander was a lieutenant colonel in the Polish police force who had been killed in the Second World War. They had two children, Carolyn and Martin. As Hannah Reszczynska-Essigman, she published a book in Polish about their family history and the following year it appeared as Whims of fate: history of a Polish family (Knebworth, Able Publishing, 2002), having been translated by her husband. When he died at home after a long illness, he was survived by his wife and family.

RCP editor

[Prabook – accessed 1 December 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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