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Biographical entry Joyce, James Leonard (1882 - 1938)

MRCS 25 July 1907; FRCS 10 June 1909; BA Cambridge 1904; MA 1909; MB BCh 1909; LRCP 1907.

13 January 1882
18 March 1938
General surgeon


Born at Coreley Rectory, Salop, near Tenbury, on 13 January 1882, the third son of the Rev Prebendary J B Joyce and Eleanor M Miles, his wife. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and entered King's College, Cambridge, on 6 October 1901, where he held an exhibition and was a prizeman. He graduated BA, being placed in the first class of the Natural Sciences Tripos, part 1, in 1904, and in the second class of the Natural Sciences Tripos, part 2, in 1905. Entering St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School he won the senior scholarship, served as house surgeon, and was extern midwifery assistant. He then settled at Reading: in partnership with Jamieson B Hurry and W Coleman. In 1913 he was appointed surgical registrar to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, becoming: assistant surgeon in 1917, surgeon in 1924, and finally consulting surgeon in 1939.

During the war, having already joined the RAMC(T) in 1909, he was called up with the rank of captain on 5 August 1914 and was promoted brevet major on 15 December 1914, being attached to the South Midland (Birmingham) General Hospital. He became officer in charge of the surgical division and officer in charge of the special military surgical section of the Reading War Hospital, 1918-19. He gave up general practice in Reading on demobilization and was appointed to the staff of the Wingfield Orthopaedic Hospital at Oxford and the War Memorial Hospital at Henley-on-Thames. He married Alice Vernon Whitefoord on 16 September 1909. She survived him with a family of two sons, both in the medical profession, and two daughters, both nurses. He died at Reading on 18 March 1938.

Joyce held a high position in the medical circle of Reading and the surrounding district, both for his character as a man and his ability as a surgeon. He was a vice-president of the section of surgery at the Oxford meeting of the British Medical Association in 1936, and for five years. served on the consultative and special group of the Association's committee for England and Wales. He was especially interested in following up the history of patients who had been operated upon for cancer, and edited the Royal Berkshire Hospital Reports. He was a devoted churchman, was a bellringer at St Mary's Church, Reading, and had the bells there rehung at his own cost. A fund was raised to equip the "Joyce operating theatre" in his memory in the new Nuffield block of the Royal Berkshire Hospital opened in 1939.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 20 March 1939, p 16e, and 22 March, p 8c; Lancet, 1939, 1, 729 and 793; Brit med J 1939, 1, 699; information given by Mrs Joyce].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England