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Biographical entry Seymour-Jones, John Anthony (1911 - 2008)

MRCS 1935; FRCS 1940; MB BChir Cambridge 1936; DLO 1946; LRCP 1935.

7 April 1911
28 June 2008
ENT surgeon


Tony Seymour-Jones was an otolaryngologist to the Portsmouth and South East Hants Health District. He was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 7 April 1911, the son of Bertrand Seymour-Jones, a consultant otolaryngologist, and Hilda Katherine née Poole, the daughter of a mining agent. Educated at West House Preparatory School, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Seymour-Jones proceeded as an exhibitioner to Shrewsbury School and from there as a classics scholar to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he switched to natural sciences as he decided to pursue a career in medicine. He undertook his clinical studies at St Thomas' Hospital, London, where on qualifying he became a house surgeon and later a clinical assistant to the ear, nose and throat department. Here he was influenced by Walter Howarth, Geoffrey Bateman, and by the general surgeon Sir Heneage Ogilvie.

After gaining his FRCS in 1940, Seymour-Jones joined the RAMC as a consultant otolaryngologist with the rank of temporary major and served in the Italian Campaign and at the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot. He made a life-long friendship with a captured Italian surgeon.

At the end of the Second World War, Seymour-Jones became a registrar to the Portsmouth, Southsea and Cosham Eye and Ear Hospital, before being appointed as a consultant otolaryngologist to the Portsmouth Group of Hospitals. He was also on the staff of King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst.

He served as chairman of the British Medical Association Portsmouth division and of the South Western Laryngological Association.He represented Wessex on the council of the British Association of Otolaryngologists and served on the council of the section of laryngology of the Royal Society of Medicine. He sailed, and became commodore of the Royal Albert Sailing Club. Musical evenings were a source of enjoyment, and he had a repertoire of songs which he sang in Italian, French and German.

Tony Seymour-Jones met his future wife, Elizabeth Irving Pinches, daughter of H I Pinches, a physician at the Royal Masonic Hospital, whilst she was a staff nurse at St Thomas'. They were married on 15 June 1940. She predeceased him, in 2003, as did his son Nicholas, an architect. At the grand age of 97, Tony Seymour-Jones died on 28 June 2008 at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, shortly after a massive stroke and myocardial infarction. He is survived by his daughters Carole and Louise, six grandchildren, and four great-grand children.

Neil Weir

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2008 337 2602].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England