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Biographical entry James, John Gwyn Howell (1919 - 1995)

MRCS 1942; FRCS 1951; MB BS London 1946; LRCP 1942.

5 May 1919
6 January 1995
Orthopaedic surgeon


John Gwyn Howell (Toby) James was born in Pontypridd on 5 May 1919 to Thomas Edwin James, a bank manager, and his wife Margaret, née Williams, a farmer's daughter. After early education in South Wales he studied medicine in Cardiff, and graduated MRCS, LRCP at the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1942. His war service was in the RNVR between 1942 and 1946, mainly in small ships from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, and he attained the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander.

After the war he embarked on a career in orthopaedics, holding registrar and senior registrar posts in Cardiff and Birmingham before becoming, in 1952, a consultant in Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Aberdare and Rhydlafar where, in addition to his usual work he built up a service for the surgical treatment of patients with legs of unequal length.

Ill health forced him to give up his work at Bridgend, but he continued at Neath and Port Talbot until he retired in 1983. He enjoyed shooting, fishing and painting, and pursued his interests in local history and genealogy, despite failing health in later years. He died aged 76 on 6 January 1995, survived by his wife Nansi, three sons (one an orthopaedic surgeon) and two grandsons.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 311 449].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England