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
(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 …