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Biographical entry Jones, Peter Henry (1917 - 1984)

MVO; MRCS 1939; FRCS 1948; LRCP 1939.

Born
1 March 1917
Monmouth
Died
30 July 1984
Occupation
Thoracic surgeon

Details

Peter Henry Jones was born in Monmouth on 1 March 1917 and educated at Haberdashers' Aske's West Monmouth School in Pontypool. He studied medicine at the Westminster Hospital and qualified in 1939.

After house appointments at the Westminster Hospital he served in the RAMC from 1942 to 1946 as Regimental Medical Officer to a field artillery regiment in North Africa and Italy. He took part in the Salerno landing and the assault on Monte Cassino, being mentioned in despatches. Typically, he refused promotion in order to remain with his regiment, which he did for four years, and this selfless attitude was characteristic of him. On demobilisation he decided to train in surgery, and took his FRCS in 1948. Subsequently he went to the Brompton and Westminster Hospitals training in thoracic surgery under Sir Clement Price Thomas, whom he assisted with a thoracotomy on King George VI, spending three weeks living in Buckingham Palace. For this he was awarded the MVO. In 1955 he was appointed thoracic surgeon to Baguley and Davyhulme Hospitals and in 1960 to Manchester Royal Infirmary. The same year he spent six months with Dr Frank Gerbode at the Presbyterian Hospital in San Francisco learning the new techniques of open heart surgery. In 1962 he was invited to join the staff of the Westminster Hospital as thoracic surgeon, where he remained until his early retirement. He was made Hunterian Professor in 1958 giving his lecture on sleeve resection of the bronchus, and he was founder-member of Pete's Club, a travelling thoracic surgical club, whose only rule was that "no member should report any case which reflects credit upon himself". Pomposity and insincerity were abhorrent to him.

He retired early because of coronary artery disease, and pursued his interests in fishing and antique clocks. He bore his final illness, which deprived him of his voice, with courage and humour, raising many laughs with sign language. When he died on 30 July 1984 he was survived by his wife Monica, herself a doctor, and their son and daughter and four grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1984, 289, 1082-3; Lancet 1984, 2, 994].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England