Obituaries

Sir Francis Avery JonesArthur Milton BowlerArthur Moreland BrownRichard Morris ButlerAlistair Hugh CameronPeter Bruno D'SouzaJames William FawcettLionel Travers (“Leo”) MartinElspeth Marguerita Whittaker StokesVerna WrightPhilip Metcalfe Yeoman

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7145.1678 (Published 30 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1678

Sir Francis Avery Jones



Former consultant physician and gastroenterologist Central Middlesex and St Mark's Hospitals (b Suffolk 1910; q St Bartholomew's 1934; MD, FRCP; Kt, CBE), d 30 April 1998. At Barts he developed his major interest in peptic ulcer and its complications, especially haemorrhage. This led to his opening a gastrointestinal unit at the Central Middlesex Hospital, where almost singlehandedly he built up the first British clinical and research base in that specialty. From Britain and many other countries came hundreds of young doctors, each welcomed by Avery to the unit and his home—and many went on to head new similar units. They had been taught how to be calm, caring, and competent clinicians, methodical and indefatigable, questioning the new and evaluating the old. Avery was an expert with the rigid endoscope, and Basil Hirschowitz, working in his department, seized on Hopkins's invention of fibreoptics, but finding British instrument makers unenthusiastic left for the United States to produce the first fibre endoscope. The unit was then joined by many distinguished figures, concentrating on oesophageal and intestinal motility, jejunal biopsy, and clinical trials.

Avery's two Modern Trends books and his standard text Clinical Gastroenterology gave the specialty in Britain a firm basis for expansion. Present at the inauguration of the British Society of Gastroenterology in 1937, he helped start Gut in 1960, becoming its first editor. He became president of the society in 1966 and for years was its archivist, gracing the diamond jubilee celebrations last spring. He was master of the Barber Surgeons and vice president of the Royal College of Physicians, giving four eponymous lectures. For 35 years he served on King's Fund committees, concerning himself with the quality of hospital care such as records, waiting lists, hospital beds, and patients' diets. He had a special concern for nutrition and recognised early the importance of dietary fibre; his unit at the Central Middlesex Hospital (where there is now an Avery Jones Postgraduate Medical Centre and an annual Avery Jones lecture) is now the Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Until the recent reforms Avery was a passionate advocate of the National Health Service. He relaxed by gardening, tackling this as systematically as his clinical work, and acquired an extensive knowledge of medicinal herbs. He was unestablishment and unflappable with a mischievous kindly wit. He leaves a second wife, Joan, and a son by his first marriage.

[J H Baron]

Arthur Milton Bowler

Former general practitioner Bradford (b Bradford 1917; q Leeds 1941), died of a coronary thrombosis on 23 February 1998. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1941, serving in Italy and Greece, and after demobilisation was a registrar for a year at St Luke's Hospital, Bradford, before entering general practice. Here he was also the police doctor and medical officer to Bradford Northern (now Bulls) Rugby League Football Club. After retirement he became president of the local branch of the British Legion, and he was also a keen freemason. He leaves a wife, Jean, and a son and daughter.

[Jean M Bowler]

Arthur Moreland Brown

Former general practitioner Thornaby-on-Tees (b Kilmarnock 1926; q Glasgow 1948; FRCGP), d 15 April 1998. He did his national service in Germany with the Royal Army Medical Corps (where he met his future wife, a Cambridge language graduate working for the Foreign Office) and then entered general practice. Here he was a respected, enthusiastic, if occasionally idiosyncratic trainer, who believed strongly in the value of regular visits to his elderly patients. He was secretary, then president of the Stockton-on-Tees branch of the BMA, and elected a fellow in 1976. He enjoyed rugby as a player, referee, and latterly medical officer to the Middlesbrough club; was captain of Teesside Golf Club; and had a long involvement with the Red Cross. He was an accomplished pianist and opera lover. He leaves a wife, Margaret; a son; and two daughters.

[Graham M Brown]

Richard Morris Butler

Former general practitioner Chelsea and medical administrator British Heart Foundation 1972–83 (b Cumberland 1928; q St Thomas's 1956), died of bronchial carcinoma on 21 March 1998. As a Mons officer cadet he won the sword of honour before serving in the Royal Horse Artillery. He achieved an honours degree in anatomy before graduating, and after three years of house jobs at St Thomas's he entered private general practice, combining this with sessions at the Institute of Directors/BUPA Medical Centre, St Luke's Hospital, and Phillips Electrical. At the British Heart Foundation he actively collaborated in the campaign to reduce the prevalence of heart disease. In 1984 he suffered severe smoke inhalation after a house fire in which his first wife died, but three years later established an alcohol treatment centre in Southampton, which was clinically successful but not financially viable. His interests included astronomy, evolution, and an ecological project to monitor larvae numbers on the river Test. He leaves his second wife, Julien, and a son from his first marriage.

[W M Dixon]

Alistair Hugh Cameron



Consultant histopathologist Birmingham Children's Hospital 1956–84 (b 1921; q Durham 1942; MD, FRCPath), died of Parkinson's disease on 14 March 1998. After service in the Royal Army Medical Corps he trained at Durham and then became a research fellow at Great Ormond Street, where his studies of spine bifida in monkeys yielded an MD thesis. On appointment as a consultant he was awarded a year's study leave, spending this at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and under Sidney Farber in Boston. Singlehandedly he then gave 27 years' distinguished service with a characteristic modesty. He was a founder member and second honorary secretary of the Paediatric Pathology Society. His enthusiasm to share knowledge is reflected by the advanced courses he ran; by his regular meetings with gastroenterologists, nephrologists, oncologists, and surgeons; and by over 80 publications, nearly a fifth of them after formal retirement and often in collaboration with clinical colleagues. He spared no effort to upgrade facilities and to improve techniques and his efforts to obtain a much needed second consultant were approved, with characteristic British timing, only a month before his retirement. During the latter Hugh continued to participate as a member of the West Midlands Research Group, as well as creating a new garden from scratch. He leaves a wife, Sinah; a son and three daughters; and seven grandchildren.

[R H R White, J R Mann]

Peter Bruno D'Souza

Consultant anaesthetist Walton Hospital Liverpool 1962–94 (b Nagpur, India 1924; q Calcutta 1951; FFARCS), died from congestive cardiac failure on 8 January 1998. He served in the Indian army before coming to England in 1955 and after a year at the Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, returned to Merseyside, where he progressed through junior appointments to a consultant post. He enjoyed travel, gardening, and crosswords. He leaves a wife, Helen, and three sons (two doctors).

[David D'Souza, Ithel Francis]

James William Fawcett



Former consultant physician King George Hospital llford (b Kohat, India, 1920, the son of a Royal Army Medical Corps colonel and the grandson of a general who was assistant director general of the RAMC; q Cambridge/The London 1943; MD, FRCP), d14 November 1997. He joined the wartime RAMC in 1944, seeing service in India and becoming commander of the military hospital in Jhansi. After appointments at The London and other hospitals he became a consultant at both Billericay and llford, later concentrating his sessions at the latter, where he became the first postgraduate clinical tutor. As chairman of a charitable trust he raised money to build the postgraduate centre, renamed after him in 1985, and he also served as regional adviser and assessor to the Royal College of Physicians. James was known for his dislike of bureaucracy and pomposity and for his rapid lateral thinking, and was untiring in his help to young doctors. Predeceased by his first wife, Barbara, he leaves his second wife, Josephine (also a doctor); three children; and six grandchildren.

[Joy Edelman, Donald Woodgate]

Lionel Travers (“Leo”) Martin

Formerly general practitioner Weston-super-Mare (b 1923; q UCH 1955), d 3 January 1998. His medical training was delayed by the war, when he served as a lieutenant in the Somerset Light Infantry. Wounded early in the Normandy campaign, he was mentioned in dispatches, while his gift for languages led to his appointment as intelligence officer. In 1955 he succeeded his father in general practice, becoming the fourth generation of his family to practise in the town. His talent for making and adapting devices was to endear him to his patients throughout his practising life, and he also designed and made beautiful furniture. He was a keen sailor and as a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club raced several Fastnets. He was a countryman at heart and a good horseman, and also served the St John Ambulance Brigade from 1955 to 1985. He leaves a wife, Elaine, and four children.

[H P L Martin]

Elspeth Marguerita Whittaker Stokes

General practitioner Norwich 1946-70, Saltdean, East Sussex 1970–87 (b Southport 1923; q Liverpool 1943), d 12 August 1997.

[D Stokes]

Verna Wright

Professor of rheumatology Leeds 1970–94 (b Devonport 1928; q Liverpool 1953; MD, FRCP), d 31 January 1998. Initially he had gone to Liverpool to study veterinary medicine, but at the end of his first year persuaded the authorities to let him switch to medicine. After qualification he held jobs at Liverpool and Stoke Mandeville before becoming a lecturer at Leeds under Professor Hartfall, who before the war had pioneered the use of intramuscular gold in rheumatoid arthritis. Verna returned from a Fulbright scholarship at Johns Hopkins as a consultant and to found clinical rheumatology in Leeds. For 10 years he singlehandedly built up a specialist department, at first operating from a small Victorian house. He was given a personal chair in 1970. The concept of a group of related diseases, the seronegative arthritides, was his, an entity proved by his small group of researchers, and he was a cofounder of the bioengineering group for the study of human joints as well as of the clinical pharmacology unit. He lent his support to the local development of rehabilitation medicine and its allied academic base. In all, he produced over 1000 scientific papers and 19 books. President of the Heberden Society in 1976-7, he was also Heberden orator and roundsman, while he also gave much to the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council, chairing its executive and finance committee from 1993 until his death. But these achievements arose from what he regarded as his primary purpose: a lifetime's involvement with many Christian organisations, expanding the Young Life movement and cofounding the United Beach Mission—which under his chairmanship grew to a team of 3000 working on the beaches of Britain, Ireland, France, and Belgium. Nevertheless, it will be his human qualities that those who knew him will remember: his openness, his kindness, the chuckles and the jokes that laced his lectures. He leaves a wife, Esther, five sons, and four daughters.

[M Anne Chamberlain]

Philip Metcalfe Yeoman

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Bath Hospitals 1964–88 (b Harrogate 1923; q UCH 1947; MD, FRCS), died of prostate cancer on 29 November 1997. As a student he went with a medical relief team to Belsen, an experience he found deeply moving. After national service in the Royal Air Force he became a clinical research assistant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and then first assistant to (Sir) Herbert Seddon, with whom he studied brachial plexus injuries, gaining the MD and the Robert Jones Gold Medal. He rejuvenated orthopaedic training at Bath, which became one of the first training centres to be recognised in Britain, and while continuing with his peripheral nerve work helped expand the operative treatment of patients with polyarthritis. He served on several bodies and was an examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons and a member of its council, as well as writing extensively and being a coauthor of an orthopaedic textbook. After retirement he continued with his college work and found time for travelling and gardening. He leaves a wife, Idonea, two sons, and a daughter.

[David Dunkerley]