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Biographical entry Joly, John Swift (1912 - 2004)

MRCS LRCP 1937; MB BChir Cantab 1938; FRCS 1941.

21 March 1912
General surgeon


John Swift Joly was a consultant surgeon at Goondiwindi Hospital, Queensland, Australia. He was born in London on 21 March 1912, the only child of John Swift Joly, an eminent urologist and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Mary Tottenham Fitzpatrick, the daughter of a Dublin bank manager. His paternal uncle, Charles Jasper Joly, was the Royal Astronomer of Ireland and his cousin, John Joly, was professor of geology at Trinity College, Dublin.

Joly was educated at Cliveden Place Preparatory School in London and then Westminster, where he was a king's scholar. He then read natural sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, and went on to St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School for his clinical studies.

He was a resident surgical officer at St Peter's Hospital for Stone in 1940, and then joined the Royal Navy as a surgeon lieutenant. He served in the Eastern Fleet from 1941 to 1943, and was subsequently based at the Royal Naval Hospital at Invergordon, Scotland. In 1944 he took part in the invasion of Normandy. From 1944 to 1946, he was a surgeon specialist in Messina, Italy.

Once he was demobilised, he became a house surgeon at the Metropolitan Hospital, London, and was then attached to the ENT department at St Bartholomew's Hospital. From 1952 to 1953 he was a consultant surgeon at the Colonial Hospital, San Fernando, Trinidad. On his return he became an assistant in the genitourinary department at Central Middlesex Hospital, London, and subsequently a senior casualty officer in Coventry and Warwick.

In 1959 he emigrated to Australia, where he was a surgeon at Goondiwindi Hospital, Queensland.

Outside medicine he enjoyed fencing, mountain climbing, zoology, geology and ancient, medieval and naval history.

In 1944 he married Beryl Hamilton Le Mare. They had one daughter. Predeceased by his wife, John Swift Joly died in 2004 and was buried in Emmaville, New South Wales, Australia, where he had retired.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England