1892 to 1954
Kenya / Nigeria / South Africa
Missionary doctor. Born on Antigua in the West Indies, he received his education in the government schools of England, took the medical course in London, and was graduated in 1916. He began his work for the church at the Stanborough Park Sanitarium, whose medical director he became. In 1919 he married Vera McLean.
On January 21, 1921, Dr. Madgwick and his wife sailed to Africa to begin the medical work in the Kenya colony. To assist him in getting his work started he was given £75 for supplies. He first went to Kanyadoto Mission near the shore of Lake Victoria where it took some time to gain the people's confidence. It proved to be a most unhealthful site, and the doctor was forced to work under extremely primitive conditions. Operations were performed on the kitchen table in a mud hut under a thatched roof. His instruments were sterilized in kerosene tins boiling over open fires.
In 1924 it was decided that a hospital should be built in a more healthful place. A site was found about two miles (three kilometers) from Gendia Mission, and here the doctor began the arduous task of building a hospital from its foundation. He remained there fifteen years, and had the satisfaction of seeing the hospital grow into an institution of considerable influence.
In 1939 Dr. Madgwick began his third pioneer experience by opening the Ife-Ife hospital in Nigeria. Soon after this hospital was in operation, he was invited to go to Abyssinia to help restore the medical work there after the expulsion of the Axis armies in 1942. Later he was called to South Africa to pioneer yet another new hospital, the Nokuphila institution in Johannesburg, where he spent the remaining twelve years of his life. He practiced medicine for thirty-eight years in all, most of that time in Africa.