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Biographical entry Jackson, John Walter (1921 - 1985)

MRCS and FRCS 1950; BA Dublin 1943; MB ChB BAO 1945; MCh 1955.

14 November 1921
Ballyconnell, County Cavan, Ireland
6 July 1985
Thoracic surgeon


John Walter Jackson was born on 14 November 1921 at Ballyconnell, County Cavan, Ireland, the son of Reverend John Herbert Jackson, BD, a Canon of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, and Dora Grace (née Middleton). His early education was at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, for his medical studies. He qualified in 1945, having obtained the Haughton Clinical Prize and Medal in surgery. His early appointments in Dublin included serving as a house surgeon at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital under Frederick Gill who subsequently became President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

After further house appointments he came to London, working initially as resident surgical officer at the London Chest Hospital and later as assistant surgical officer to the County Hospital, Kingston-upon-Thames, under R H Franklin. He then spent four years at Central Middlesex Hospital, partly in general surgery under T G I James and partly in the neurosurgical unit. He passed the FRCS in 1950 and two years later was appointed registrar to the thoracic surgical unit at the Middlesex Hospital under Sir Thomas Holmes Sellors. He acquired the MCh degree in 1955 and was made chief assistant at Harefield Hospital, Middlesex, and promoted to consultant status as thoracic surgeon to Harefield Hospital, Windsor Group of Hospitals and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, London, in 1959.

He was specially interested in the techniques of a transthoracic approach to infective lesions of the spine, subluxations, tumours and prolapsed intervertebral discs and undertook much work on this subject at the Stanmore branch of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. The operative technique and results were presented at a Hunterian Lecture delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons on 11 June 1970. When the demand for surgical treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis lessened he continued to work on oesophageal and lung disease as well as performing cardiac surgery in its early days.

His leisure interests were woodworking, gardening and walking. He married Dr Eileen Greenwood in 1953 and there were two daughters of the marriage, Jenny and Jane, the younger of whom has qualified in medicine, and one son, Adam. He died at his home in Cumbria on 6 July 1985, aged 63.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1985, 291, 416].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England