James Bruce-SmithAustin Braybrooke KettleReginald PassmoreDavid Michael SternJohn Watson-Farrar

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1009

James Bruce-Smith

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Former general practitioner Birmingham, 1953-92 (b Falkirk 1926; q Edinburgh 1948; FRCPEd), d 6 August 1999. After national service in the Royal Air Force James entered general practice and played a major part in the post-war development of the NHS in Birmingham. He was a member of the board of governors of the former United Birmingham Hospitals, chairman of the local medical committee, a member of the family practitioner committee and the area health authority, and a representative at several BMA annual meetings. James was modest but inspiring, and although his practice was mainly inner city with many immigrants, he was also GP to many doctors and academics and their families. Everyone was treated with equal attention. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and was a past president of the Edinburgh University Club in Birmingham. He remained active almost to the end of his life; despite a protracted cardiac illness, he travelled widely and refused to become an invalid. He leaves a wife, Maureen, and three children.

[Llewellyn Lloyd Alasdair Geddes]

Austin Braybrooke Kettle

Consultant physician Weston-super-Mare, 1938-71 (b Carlisle 1905; q Guy's 1927; FRCP, DPH), d 1 August 1999. After house jobs he did a spell in general practice, but decided that he did not know enough and returned to hospital as a house physician He thought that prevention was better than cure and worked in public health in Brighton, Surrey, and Lancashire. The death of his first wife, Margaret, from a surgical misfortune, and the knowledge that further advance in public health would mean dealing with committees rather than patients caused him to look for a general practice where there was an honorary physician's work available—before 1948 hospital work was unpaid He settled in Weston and was physician to the local hospital group until he retired, except for war service in north Africa and Italy He was secretary of the local BMA division for several years, represented it at the BMA's annual meeting, and was a BMA fellow. He was a lay reader and a member of the General Synod of the Church of England. Predeceased by his second wife, Molly, a daughter, and a son, he leaves four sons (one a doctor).

[A B Kettle]

Reginald Passmore

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Physiologist University of Edinburgh Medical School (b Hinckley, Leicestershire 1910; q St Mary's 1935; FRCPEd), d 28 July 1999. In 1937 Reg joined the Indian Medical Service and was appointed assistant director of the nutrition laboratories in Coonor, south India. After military training he was posted to the Bangalore Military Hospital, and served in the Middle East with the 4th and 5th Indian Divisions. He was later given the command of the medical division of a hospital in Saigon, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. Reg first joined the department of social medicine in Edinburgh and then moved to the physiology department where he remained for the rest of his academic career With Professor Sir Stanley Davidson and Peter Meiklejohn he published Human Nutrition and Dietetics, which ran into eight editions With Professor J S Robson he was editor in chief of the four volume Companion to Medical Studies. Passmore was scientific editor of the Proceedings of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and published over 115 scientific papers. He was on the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy and on the Food Standards Committee. Reg had a wide knowledge of the arts and humanities Predeceased by his wife, Esme, he leaves three sons and six grandchildren.

[Raymond Mills]

David Michael Stern

Former consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology West Middlesex Hospital, 1935-68 (b 1903; q Cambridge/The London 1927; FRCS, FRCOG; CBE), d 22 July 1999. He remained at The London until 1935, becoming first assistant in obstetrics, before moving to the West Middlesex Hospital. After he retired he became professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Khartoum from 1968 to 1974. He was awarded a Hunterian professorship by the Royal College of Surgeons in 1945 and, with his colleague Mr Cliff Burnett, published A Modern Practice of Obstetrics in 1956. Predeceased by his wife, he leaves three children (one a consultant paediatrician), and seven grandchildren.

[Colin Stern]

John Watson-Farrar

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Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, 1965-91 (b Canada 1926; q Cambridge/The London 1952; FRCS), d 23 July 1999. JWF will be remembered for his major contribution to the invention of the total hip replacement operation With G K McKee, he developed the metal on metal artificial hip joint which was first used in 1961. McKee had struggled from 1940 to develop a durable artificial hip joint. A breakthrough was made by John Charnley with the use of acrylic cement to fix the prosthesis to bone. JWF's contribution was to make design changes to prevent the prosthesis loosening from bone in the short term. He grew up in Jersey during the German occupation, and he would recall the brutal experiences of this time, which clearly shaped his sense of duty towards the disadvantaged. He was driven by the needs of his patients, who instantly recognised his concern for their welfare, and he greatly appreciated the contributions of hospital workers at every level. He and his first wife, Shirley, shared a love of animals, and he could sometimes be found marshalling opposition to the seal cull on the north Norfolk coast After Shirley's death he married Penny and found a profound but fleeting happiness. They had hoped to travel but his failing health meant they were restricted.

[Hugh Phillips J K Tucker]

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