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Biographical entry Walley, George Jon (1915 - 1982)

DSC; MRCS and FRCS 1947; BM BCh Oxford 1939; DM 1947.

15 April 1915
Horncastle, Lincolnshire
27 January 1982
Orthopaedic surgeon


Jon Walley, no-one ever used the George, was born on 15 April 1915 at Horncastle in Lincolnshire. His father, also George Jon and a Colonel in the Lincolnshire Regiment, was killed in the first world war. He was a gifted child and from Horncastle Grammar School he obtained an open scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, at the remarkable age of 16. With a great love of the classics he took a first in honour mods and a first in his physiology finals. With an excellent physique and a big man in every sense, he was a first class swimmer and yachtsman, who became a founder member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. He was always a very gentle giant with a love of poetry and the classics, roses, falconry and mountaineering.

His clinical training was at St Bartholomew's and he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve from 1939 to 1946. His service afloat as a Surgeon Lieutenant and later Surgeon Commander ranged from Norway and Crete to Russian convoys and the Far East. He was twice wounded, three times mentioned in despatches and was awarded the DSC; an outstanding record by any account.

Back in England he obtained the FRCS and held resident posts at Windsor and Oxford, eventually setting up the accident and orthopaedic department in the new hospital at High Wycombe to replace the inadequate accommodation for this speciality which previously existed in Amersham and the nearby hospitals.

Despite his varied and exciting excursions into sport, including three Fastnet races, he wrote a number of papers as a result of his wide clinical experience on bone disease and deformity. He married Veronica Papworth, an artist and journalist in 1950 and they brought up her two children and a son of his own. The eldest son went to St Bartholomew's Hospital. He died on 27 January 1982, aged 66 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1982, 284, 755, 1129; Lancet 1982, 1, 694].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England