Simon SmullenBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7411.398-c (Published 14 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:398
- Simon Smullen
Former general practitioner Govanhill, Glasgow (b Dublin 15 March 1916; q Dublin 1942; MA, MD), died in Glasgow on 24 July 2003.
Born in Dublin as the bullets flew overhead during the Easter Rising of 1916, Simon Smullen was brought up in the area now known as "little Jerusalem" with its Jewish shops and poor families. He was encouraged to study, and by dint of bursaries, scholarships and the few shillings earned by teaching at cheder, the fees for school and Trinity College were paid. With a view to entering the Rabbinate he took a degree in Semitic languages and then changed to medicine, graduating in 1942. During those years he was a leader in Habonim, then Dublin’s religious youth movement, won gold medals for lectures in modern Hebrew, and was chairman of Mizrachi.
Like so many of his contemporaries he left Dublin on graduation to pursue his career in Great Britain, firstly in Leeds and then fate took him to Glasgow when he met and married Fay Links who was to be his wife for 29 years till her early death.
He took a paediatric clinic at Yorkhill Hospital and in 1951 gained his MA, MD at Trinity College for his thesis on rheumatic heart disease in young children. He then decided to concentrate on his work as a family doctor and tended his patients with skilful diagnosis and care for over 40 years in the Govanhill area of Glasgow.
Always charitable to many home and Israeli causes, he was particularly interested in Jewish students, giving generously to the Chaplaincy Board. On retirement he was able to devote more time to The Jewish Male Voice Choir, the Choral Society, and his Masonic Lodge, Montefiore 753, of which he was a past master and member for 60 years. Queen’s Park, Giffnock, and Newton Mearns Synagogue members will remember his perfect rendition of Haftarot.
Highly articulate, intelligent, and able to the end, his advice was sought on many subjects. He leaves a devoted wife, Sylvia Gillis Florence, whose love and companionship he enjoyed for nearly 30 years, and a grieving family of children and many grandchildren, all very involved in various Jewish communities throughout the world. [Claire Stone]
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