Edward Lyons

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 30 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f271
  1. Stephen Lyons

Edward Lyons was born to a Jewish immigrant family in Harehills, Leeds. He attended Roundhay School and Leeds University School of Medicine, and was elected president of the Students Union in 1942/3. After qualifying he did house jobs (medicine and ophthalmology) at Scarborough Hospital and Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton, before obtaining a two year resident appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, finishing as senior resident.

His national service after the war was spent mostly in the Suez Canal zone, where he served as Middle East command ophthalmologist with the rank of major. After discharge he was appointed chief clinical assistant at Moorfields and held part time posts as senior registrar at King Edward VIII Hospital, Windsor, and civilian eye specialist to the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot. In 1954 he was appointed to the first consultant ophthalmologist post in north Wales to establish an ophthalmic service based in what was then north Clwyd.

He remained the only such consultant for 21 years and, with tenacious determination, pitted himself against the frustrating medical politics of the time to build a highly respected ophthalmic department, serving as its head until 1984. At the start of his tenure at the H M Stanley Hospital, St Asaph, in 1954, when the hospital was still partly functioning as a workhouse, he was given a corrugated iron shed hundreds of yards from the eye ward, in which to house his outpatient clinic. He carried out the first eye testing of school children in remote areas such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Dolgellau, where young and elderly people did not speak English and he was obliged to take an interpreter. At the time of his retirement the unit was one of the best equipped and organised in the whole country.

Mr Lyons served the BMA in various capacities between 1967 and 1976. He chaired the North Wales division (now Clwyd North), was a member of the division executive committee for many years, and chaired the Welsh committee for hospital medical services from 1972 to 1975. From 1968 to 1978 he was a member of the Welsh council and served for two years as a member of the central committee for hospital medical services. During this period he sat for six years on the BMA central council, representing hospital doctors in Wales.

In the early 1970s he was invited by the secretary of state for Wales to join the medical advisory committee to the secretary and served two years on the secretary of state’s steering committee on NHS reorganisation.

He was a keen sportsman and as a student represented Leeds University at rugby, rowing, water polo, and chess. He dislocated his knee on two occasions, the second during his first game for Wasps, putting an end to his rugby aspirations.

He helped found Llanddulas Youth Club and was president of Abergele Rugby Club from 1974 to 1984. He keenly supported North Wales Medical Aid to Tamil Nadu and was an enthusiastic Rotarian. In 2010 he was awarded the Paul Harris Rotary fellowship for “the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.” He was also a dedicated birdwatcher and was active in several local wildlife associations.

He died in the home he bought after his consultant appointment and is survived by his wife, Marian, a former leader of Clwyd County Council; four sons; and one daughter.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f271


  • Ophthalmic surgeon (b 1920; q Leeds 1944; DOMS, FRCOphth), died from congestive heart failure on 2 December 2012.

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