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Biographical entry James, Peter Ashman (1921 - 2013)

MBE 1963; MB ChB Bristol 1943; FRCS 1951; DMRD 1970; FFR 1971; FRCR 1975.

19 September 1921
Nailsea, Somerset
23 May 2013
Radiologist and Thoracic surgeon


Peter James was a consultant thoracic surgeon in Uganda and latterly a consultant radiologist at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. He was born on 19 September 1921 in Nailsea, north Somerset, the son of Walter Ashman, a chartered surveyor, and Hilda Ashman née Kitley, a nurse who had served at sea with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service during the First World War. He was educated at St Goar's School, Bristol, and at Bristol Grammar School, where he was a Peloquin scholar. He then studied medicine at Bristol University, gaining his MB ChB in 1943.

He was a house surgeon to Arthur Rendle Short in Bristol and then, between 1944 and 1947, he was a captain in the RAMC, mainly with the 7th Indian Parachute Field Ambulance.

After the war, he trained in Bristol, Gloucester and Newport as a general surgeon, and then at Morriston, Brompton and Great Ormond Street hospitals as a thoracic surgeon.

From 1960 to 1967 he was a consultant thoracic surgeon in Uganda and an honorary lecturer at the University of East Africa. He was a member of the council of the Association of Surgeons of East Africa and president from 1965 to 1966. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Education in East Africa in 1966. He was awarded an MBE in May 1963.

In 1967 he left Uganda, re-trained in Canada and Bristol as a diagnostic radiologist, and was appointed as a consultant in radiology for the Manchester teaching area at Wythenshawe Chest Hospital and Manchester Chest Clinic.

He wrote various papers on tuberculosis and medical education and contributed a chapter on thoracic surgery to Companion to surgery in Africa, etc (Edinburgh/London, E & S Livingstone, 1968).

Outside medicine, he enjoyed sailing, bridge, driving, flying and competitive bowls.

He died on 23 May 2013 in Southbourne, aged 91. He was survived by his widow Jean James (née Tregear), a former dermatologist, whom he had married in 1947.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [Bournemouth Echo 4 June 2013 - accessed 28 October 2015].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England