James Stokes Ellis

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 06 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:519
  1. Peter Ellis

    Jim Ellis was born in Selborne, Hampshire. He was brought up in Eastbourne, where he was educated as a day boy at Eastbourne Preparatory School. There he met his lifelong friend John Jesson, who became a consultant psychiatrist and in later years lived only 10 miles away from Jim in Fareham, Hampshire. After prepratorya school Jim went on to Charterhouse, where he decided to become a doctor. The Ellis family had interests in the wine business and in goldsmithing—his father having been a member of the goldsmiths' company—but there was no family medical tradition so this was a completely personal choice. Jim had an exceptional musical talent, winning the school music prize with a performance of Chopin's “Revolutionary Etude.” From childhood he had an interest in the theatre—an early memory being going with his father to performances at Eastbourne's Variety Theatre—and this interest covered all aspects of costume and staging, as well as performance. After Charterhouse Jim went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge. There he met and became engaged to Monica Verdon-Roe, who was at Girton, and the couple were married after a five-year engagement in 1938.

    From Cambridge, where he graduated in 1937, Jim went to St Thomas' Hospital, London. He qualified conjoint and Cambridge in 1937, obtaining his English FRCS in 1939 and the Cambridge MChir in 1941. After qualification he worked in casualty at St Thomas' and was Mr Bernard Maybury's house surgeon. He was then appointed to the senior casualty post and, at the outbreak of war, was surgical registrar to Mr Romanis. As a student at St Thomas' Jim had begun to actively explore his interest in the …

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