Intended for healthcare professionals


Charles Hilton Jones

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 16 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4860
  1. Keith Wright

    Charles Hilton Jones was born and educated in Liverpool. He was a 1st MB student on entering university in 1942, having studied arts subjects in the sixth form, a route which, no doubt facilitated his editing of both the university newspaper and the medical school magazine. As it was war time he was required to serve for six hours weekly in the Medical (M) Company of the Liverpool University Senior Training Corps (colloquially known as the LUST Corps), and was automatically enrolled into the Home Guard. Charles also volunteered for fire watching duties. After the Normandy invasion M Company was detailed to meet military ambulance trains from the south coast at Broadgreen station and carry the wounded by stretcher to waiting ambulances.

    Gaining the highest marks in medicine in the final MB, Charles was awarded the clinical school exhibition. After posts as house physician in two of Liverpool’s hospitals, he was appointed research fellow in the Department of Pathology under Professor H L Sheehan, where research into the pathogenesis of the tuberculous primary complex was embodied in his MD thesis in 1955. During his two years of national service he was in charge of the laboratory of the Army Chest Hospital at Hindhead and was executive officer of the army BCG trial. After demobilisation he served in the Territorial Army for 15 years, gaining the Territorial Decoration.

    Four years first as registrar, then as assistant pathologist at respectively the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital were followed by five years as lecturer in pathology at Liverpool University. Charles was appointed consultant pathologist in 1962 to the then Clwyd and Deeside Hospitals in North Wales, his considerable knowledge and wisdom making a substantial impact on hospital services in Denbighshire and Flintshire over the ensuing 27 years.

    Early on in his appointment he was the co-author of a landmark, formerly much cited paper describing an outbreak of haemolytic uraemic syndrome among children, frequently preceded by a diarrhoeal illness. Charles’s enthusiasm for pathology was seen at its best when there was an opportunity to teach, whether at a postmortem examination or in clinical meetings, when his demonstrations of histology would add greatly to presentations. His carefully produced clinicopathological conferences were always well attended and greatly appreciated. For eight years he was postgraduate organiser (clinical tutor). In turn, he chaired the hospital medical staff committee, the local BMA division, and the Colwyn Bay and District Medical Society. He represented his colleagues on the local medical committee for many years.

    A keen rotarian, Charles was a past president of the Prestatyn Club. He was very modest and easy to work with, and few colleagues knew that he contributed crosswords to the Daily Telegraph, as well as being a keen puzzler. His wide and deep general knowledge, particularly in literature, history, and the classics meant that his place in the Rotary quiz team and the doctors’ pub quiz team was assured both when working and long into retirement. He greatly enjoyed the quizzes, and occasionally the senior common room would be entertained by his telling of an “impossible” question he had been able to answer on the previous evening. In retirement he was involved with adult literacy and acted as a welcomer at St Asaph Cathedral. After a hip fracture he struggled against the odds to remain independent and continued to live in North Wales, but a second hip fracture rendered him immobile and he was persuaded to move to a nursing home in Oxford to be near his family.

    Predeceased by his wife, Clare, he leaves a son, a consultant neurologist, and a daughter and four grandchildren.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4860


    • Former consultant pathologist Clwyd and Deeside Hospitals, North Wales (b 29 November 1924; q Liverpool 1948; TD, MD, FRCPath), d 4 September 2009.

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