Obituaries

James Roderick Johnston (“J R”) CameronMurray Newell CoxJane Mooney FullertonDavid Nathaniel JohnJeanne Gloria Mason (née Roper)Klaus Abraham MischRobert Humphreys RamsayMoritz RollJohn Alexander RossShri Om SharmaLeonard Birnie StrangDavid Henry Targett

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7108.610 (Published 06 September 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:610

James Roderick Johnston (“J R”) Cameron


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Former consultant surgeon Royal Infirmary Edinburgh (b Belfast 1902; q Edinburgh 1927; FRCSE), d 23 February 1997. He achieved his two major ambitions—to be a “chief” in his own teaching hospital and to be president of his royal college. The son of a dental surgeon, he first qualified in dentistry and after graduating in medicine spent a year in Montreal. He worked first in the pathology department of McGill University and then as resident to Wilder Penfield, the neurosurgeon. He was an honorary assistant surgeon at Leith and was appointed to the Royal Infirmary only a few months before the outbreak of war, when he volunteered for service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He landed at Narvik in 1940, but because of a hand injury was unable to function as a surgeon. He was, however, able to ski and hence was posted as medical officer to the famous French regiment, the Chasseurs Alpin—“Les Diables Bleu.” Later he served in the Middle East and Italy, where he had command of the surgical divisions of two forward base hospitals. After the war he took a special interest in thyroid surgery and skin tumours, and also became involved in the affairs of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, being elected president in 1967, the year he retired. He played an important part in revising the college bylaws, unchanged since 1505, and was also active in promoting intercollegiate cooperation world wide. His other lasting memorial was his inauguration of the Sir James Young Simpson lectureship. He was proud of his Highland antecedents, and spent most of his holidays in his clan's ancestral country close to Achnacarry, while he was president of the Edinburgh branch of the Clan Cameron Association in the 1950s. Predeceased by his wife, Dorothy, he leaves two sons and two daughters, and grandchildren. [I MacLaren]

Murray Newell Cox

Former consultant psychotherapist Broadmoor Hospital (b Birmingham 1931; q Cambridge/The London 1956; DPM, FRCPsych), died during cardiac surgery on 28 June 1997. He was in general practice for 10 years, after which he trained in psychiatry, extending his therapeutic endeavours to more severe forms of mental disorder at Pentonville Prison and Broadmoor Hospital. Murray was passionate about music and literature and his bliss was Shakespeare; his view of the human condition and its amelioration were constantly informed by Shakespeare and other great writers. The “accurate phrase” could leap out from Murray's vast literary memory to “get a patient unstuck” and out of internal chaos. His collaboration with Dr Alice Theilgaard of Copenhagen sparked a productive direction in his last 10 years. They wrote many books and articles together and brought the Royal Shakespeare Company to patients at Broadmoor for the first time. He was hardly at apogee when he died: he had recently edited a notable work on forensics and the psychology of the offender patient, had six chapters in press, and was actively practising. His conversation was always incandescence and fireworks, and he possessed bountiful imagination, riotous humour, and enough amperage to help all transcend the ordinary. He leaves a wife, Caroline (Baroness Cox); two sons (one a surgeon commander) and a daughter; and six grandchildren.

A service of thanksgiving for Dr Murray Newell Cox will be held at Southwark Cathedral on 12 September 1997 at 3 00 pm. [Theodore Nadelson]

Jane Mooney Fullerton

Consultant pathologist St Olave's Hospital 1950-65, Guy's Hospital Group 1965-75 (b Dunmurry, Co Antrim, 1915; q Belfast 1938; DPH, founder FRCPath), d 23 June 1997. She served as a clinical pathologist in the Royal Air Force, and bomb blast injuries gave her permanent nerve deafness. As a consultant she was sponsored by the Inter University Council for Overseas Aid to set up a department of histopathology at the University of Nigeria at Enugu, where as professor of pathology she was a visiting examiner. This contribution was recognised by the award of the fellowship of the BMA. She never married, but leaves many relations. [C A Morris]

David Nathaniel John


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Former general practitioner Newport, Monmouthshire (b Llantrisant 1914; q St Mary's 1937), d 7 June 1997. Having started surgical training at Nottingham, he volunteered at the outbreak of war and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in east Africa, India, and Burma. At Newport just before the start of the NHS he was at first single handed but thereafter was a leader in the development of group practice and the primary healthcare team. He also served the BMA as chairman of the Monmouthshire division. On retirement he continued as occupational medical officer to Standard Telephones and Cables, and after total retirement had more time to pursue his interests in fishing, ornithology, golf, and following the beagles in Powys. He leaves a wife, three sons (two of them GPs) and nine grandchildren (one a GP). [Christopher John]

Jeanne Gloria Mason (née Roper)

Former senior clinical medical officer Taff Ely Health Authority (b Rhymney, Monmouthshire, 1929; q Cardiff 1952), died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage on 7 March 1997. After qualification she worked initially part time in the Rhondda schools' ophthalmological service, being promoted to senior clinical medical officer in 1974 and developing an interest in children with special needs. During retirement she became a talented artist. Predeceased by her husband, David (a fellow student), she leaves two children (one a general practitioner) and five grandchildren. [Huw Mason]

Klaus Abraham Misch

Consultant histopathologist Lister Hospital, Stevenage 1953-80 (b Berlin 1915, the son of a GP; q Edinburgh 1940; DCP, FRCPath), d 4 November 1996. As a teenager he fled Nazi Germany before the war, and after a brief internment as a foreign national in Canada he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, being mentioned in dispatches. He published papers throughout his life and after retirement worked as an examiner and pathologist in Africa, Malaysia, West Indies, and Papua New Guinea. He loved music and gardening. He leaves three sons and two daughters. [Klaus Misch]

Robert Humphreys Ramsay

Former general practitioner Londonderry (b Ballycastle 1912; q Belfast 1937), d 5 May 1997. He served with the 14th army in Burma during the war and afterwards became closely involved with the work of the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve. He practised in Londonderry for 30 years and retired initially to Ballycastle and later to Coleraine, continuing as a doctor in the referee service and then training in acupuncture. A loyal churchman with a keen interest in church music, he played the piano and organ and for many years was a member of the church choir. He was a keen golfer and loved walking. Predeceased by his first wife, Monica, he leaves a second wife, Hilda, and a son and daughter. [Hilda Ramsay]

Moritz Roll

Former general practitioner Leeds (b Bukovina, Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1901; q Vienna 1926), died of circulatory failure on 16 April 1997. He had a fine trained tenor voice and sang in a Viennese choir, but with his wife had to flee the Nazis in 1939. He was interned on the Isle of Man, where he often sang in recitals accompanied by top class pianists, but eventually worked in the emergency service in the West Midlands and in general practice. He moved to Leeds after the war, retiring at the age of 85, where he and his wife were the centre of a musical circle, holding soirées in friends' homes. His son, Michael, has established himself as an international concert pianist. He leaves his wife, Grethe, a son, and grandson. [Gerald R Addlestone]

John Alexander Ross

Former consultant radiologist Liverpool hospitals (b Liverpool 1908, where his father was a general practitioner; q Cambridge/Liverpool 1933; FRCPE, FRCR), d 3 April 1997. He decided to specialise in radiology early, but being a member of the Territorial Army he was called up in 1939 and served in Greece, Crete, Egypt, and Belgium. While in Egypt he attended King Farouk and was awarded the Order of the Nile. Outside his hospital and university commitments John was interested in literature, particularly Shakespeare, and medical history. Early in his career he published Cholera in New York, and his subsequent books included A Handbook of Radiography and A Medical Student in Paris in 1832. He was an enthusiastic member of the Liverpool Medical Institution and set up the retired members group. He leaves a wife, Elaine; and a daughter from his first marriage. [Audrey Couch]

Shri Om Sharma


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Consultant anaesthetist Apollo Hospital, New Delhi (b Muzaffar Nagar, India, 1952; q Meerut 1975; MD, FFARCS), died in a road accident on 23 February 1997. He worked in Saudi Arabia before coming to Britain to train in Merseyside and at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. He was a caring and conscientious man with a ready sense of humour. He leaves a wife, Meena (a gynaecologist), and a daughter and son. [J W H Watt, K Dhamija]

Leonard Birnie Strang

Former professor of paediatrics University College Hospital (b East Kilbride 1925; q Durham 1949; MD, FRCP), d 24 June 1997. He undertook postgraduate training in paediatrics under (Sir) James Spence, who was a great influence on his subsequent clinical practice. At the (Royal) Postgraduate Medical School he began his research interest in pulmonary function and then spent a year at Harvard studying the pulmonary vasculature of the newborn. In 1967 he was appointed as the first undergraduate professor of paediatrics in London. Severe osteomyelitis in childhood meant that for most of his life he relied on two walking sticks for mobility. But the illness also had other powerful effects: it steered him to medicine and away from the arts; it imbued him with a determination to overcome obstacles and the periods of enforced bedrest; and supplied him with the opportunity to develop his love of literature and of ideas. Over almost 30 years he motivated a team to make important contributions to the understanding of fetal and neonatal pulmonary physiology and to clinical practice. The constant theme of the research was the elucidation of the mechanisms by which the fetal lung adapts to breathing air at birth. Eight of his students and colleagues became chairmen of departments of paediatrics, while he was awarded the James Spence Medal in 1990; became president of the Neonatal Society and a censor of the Royal College of Physicians; and was instrumental in introducing the paediatric membership examination.

In the late 1970s he became a committed francophile, mastered the language in a short time, and spent six months at the Hpital de Port Royal in Paris, becoming well known in French paediatric circles. He retired to Volx in southern France with his second wife in 1989. He continued to be active in research matters, through editorial duties for the Journal of Physiology and his writings. Leonard's view of retirement was that he would be forgotten within three days, but his contribution to the science of paediatrics lives after him as does the inheritance of the people he influenced. Predeceased by his first wife, Madelaine, he leaves a second wife, Susan, and four children of his first marriage. [Dafydd Walters]

David Henry Targett


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General practitioner Birmingham (b Birmingham 1932; q Birmingham 1956; MRCGP, AFOM), died after a subarachnoid haemorrhage on 18 May 1997. After qualification he joined his father in an inner city practice, but in 1965 was one of several practitioners who left the National Health Service in protest at new government measures. He continued in private practice with a faithful following of predominantly low income families, who were prepared to pay a monthly amount, for which they received all consultations and drug treatment. He was also actively involved in the Employment Medical Service and as a police surgeon. As a teenager David was a keen supporter of Aston Villa Football Club, and subsequently fulfilled what for many might be the ultimate ambition of becoming club doctor in 1969 and a director in 1983. He had other sporting interests, and was medical officer to Birmingham Speedway and latterly to the British Boxing Board of Control; his more relaxing pursuits were do-it-yourself and philately. He leaves a wife, Ann; three sons and a daughter; and two grandsons. [Barrie Smith]

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