John Edward Parry

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 10 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4788
  1. Rex Parry

John Edward Parry was the son of Reverend Reg and Mary Parry, originally from Liverpool, and brother to Rex and Elsie. He was born in Oldham, Lancashire, but the family moved to Blackburn before he started school. During Reg Parry’s Ministries at Chapel Street, Blackburn and Clapton Park (East London) Congregational Churches, John attended Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn, and Hackney Downs Secondary School in east London. When the second world war broke out he was evacuated for a time to Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

John was active in the Scouts and credited it with giving him practical skills and a love of song and dance performances. Like his whole family, he was very active in the Congregational Church, including making a visit to America in 1946 on behalf of the Church. John actively espoused the values of the Church and its London Missionary Society and felt called by God to follow the path of his hero, the missionary explorer David Livingstone, to serve as a missionary doctor in Africa. To achieve his goal, John took degrees in medicine and surgery at Manchester University, studied theology at the Congregational Church’s Lancashire College, and was ordained in the Church in 1948. He later obtained a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from Liverpool University.

In 1948 while serving as a house surgeon (then as assistant surgical registrar) at Bolton Royal Infirmary in preparation for practising medicine in Africa, he married Freda Carter of Horwich, Lancashire, a theatre sister at the same infirmary. She willingly joined in with his plan to live and work in Northern Rhodesia. Dr Morton had retired from Mbereshi Hospital in 1946, …

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