Designatory Letters: 
MBChB Edin (1950), MD UWA (1971), PhD Camb (1962), MRCP Edin (1954), FRCP Edin (1971), MRACP (1975), FRACP (1978), DCP Lond (1953), D Path RCP&S (1955), FRC Path (1974), MRCPA (1963), FRCPA (1972)

[Contributed by Professor Krishna Somers]

Hugh Jackson (Jack) Woodliff was born in Calver, Derbyshire UK, son of Douglas Woodliff, a Works Manager, and Frances Alice (nee Jackson), a housewife. He died in Perth of long-standing multiple medical disorders, coronary heart disease, myelodysplasia and Parkinson’s disease.

He married Mary Isabell Oglethorpe, a secretary, in 1951. Jack and Mary had known each other during their student years in Edinburgh. He fathered two sons, Michael John in 1952 and David Richard in 1953. His brother Michael Woodliff was a family practitioner. He had 3 granddaughters.

He attended Denstone College, a Church of England boarding school, in Staffordshire in England. He qualified MBChB at the University of Edinburgh. He served as House Physician in the medical Professorial Unit of Sir Stanley Davidson at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He identified clinical pathology as his major interest and proceeded to Diploma in Pathology of London University, the first of his many diplomas in Pathology. He gained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and was subsequently elected Fellow of the same College in 1971. In the interim he had also obtained Diploma in Clinical Pathology of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was awarded PhD in 1962 in the Department of Medicine of Cambridge University. He was made Member of the Royal College of Pathologists and was advanced to Fellow of the same College in 1974. He received membership of the College of Pathologists of Australasia and was elected Fellow of the same College in 1971. He obtained MD of the University of Western Australia also in 1971. He was admitted to Membership of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians followed by election to Fellowship in 1978.

In academic and research activity he started as Lecturer in Pathology and Bacteriology at Edinburgh University followed by appointment as Junior Specialist in Pathology in the Royal Army Medical Corp. He achieved rank of Captain and retired with rank of Lieutenant Colonel on the Reserve List earning an Efficiency Decoration which meant a lot to him. Early in his career he became interested in cell culture studies and went on to Cambridge as Elmore Research Student working in the Department of Medicine under Sir Lionel Whitby with the supervision of Dr F J G Hayhoe. He followed with a Research Fellowship sponsored by the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation in Boston. On his return to the UK he was appointed Lecturer in Haematology in Oxford University. He collected his research into a thesis for which he was awarded PhD of Cambridge University. In 1962 he was appointed head of the Department of Haematology at Royal Perth Hospital, his first appointment in Australia.

At the pinnacle of his career with over 100 publications in haematology and related subjects, authorship of 2 monographs and senior co-author of a text entitled Concise Haematology, he was attracted to Makerere University in Uganda which had been the foremost educational and research centre in SubSaharan Africa, closely linked to a number of international institutions including London University, National Institutes of Health, and Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London. He applied for and was appointed to a newly created Chair of Haematololgy. Unfortunately, his arrival and welcome in Uganda by his professional colleagues was cut short because of the recent military coup and depravities that resulted from the dictatorship of Idi Amin. It was a dismal time for the country and for its professional community, both local and foreign-born. Jack Woodliff left Uganda. Shortly afterwards he took up Professorship of Pathology at the University of Papua New Guinea based at Port Moresby General Hospital, an appointment he held until 1980 when he returned to Western Australia as Clinical Pathologist in the State Health Laboratory Services. Shortly afterwards he took up private practice as Consultant Physician in Haematology in Perth retiring in late 1992 on account of poor health. Despite his physical weakness he used to walk each day with his wife. He sustained a hip fracture after a fall which left him bed-bound for the rest of his natural life unflinchingly cared for at home by his wife, Mary.

In his quiet years of retirement in Perth he worked on his vineyard which he developed with the help of his wife and a manager, David Wurm, himself a vigneron. Outside his life interest in haematology and his vineyard he enjoyed sailing. He gave lectures on wine appreciation. He had passionate interests in stamp collecting, sailing, bridge and raising tropical fish.

His working career in haematology is anthologised in a text:

Sage R E (2003) An Antipodean’s History of Haematology. Peacock Publications

His most significant publications were:

Woodliff H J (1964) Blood and Bone Marrow Cell Culture, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode

Woodliff H J and Hermann R P (1973) Concise Haematology, London: E. Arnold