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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 June 23; 334(7607): 1327.
PMCID: PMC1895694

Margaret Lauretta Mabel Manford

There were several unusual aspects to Margaret Manford's admirable life.

She taught physical education for four years before taking up medicine and then, from the outset, pursued a career entirely in paediatric anaesthesia. At a time when neonatal anaesthesia and surgery were performed in very few centres, anaesthetists in training flocked to anyone who was both an expert in a demanding and challenging field and also an outstanding teacher. Her attitude was uncompromising but invariably gentle and encouraging. Only the highest standards and enthusiasm were acceptable.

Paediatric surgery in the 1950s and 1960s embraced all surgical specialties and needed equally versatile anaesthetists. Margaret responded to each new challenge with notable dedication. She always involved her trainees in research and published many papers with them on a wide variety of subjects. In 1969, she visited Vietnam and later Bangladesh and did wonderful work there.

After retirement, she spent several years working with the blood transfusion service and subsequently with disadvantaged families in the Kent family scheme. George Eliot could equally have been thinking of Margaret when she wrote (of Dorothea ), “the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts.” Her husband, Jim, predeceased her. There were no children.

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