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Biographical entry Mousley, James Silvester (1928 - 1996)

MRCS 1951; FRCS 1956; MB BS London 1951; LRCP 1951.

28 October 1928
Tipton, Staffordshire
3 May 1996
General surgeon


Jim Mousley was born in Tipton, Staffordshire, on 28 October 1928, the only son of James William Mousley, a businessman, and Gertrude Elizabeth, née Myatt. He was educated at Colston's School, Bristol, and University College School, London, after which he entered St Mary's Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1951.

After junior appointments at St Mary's with Ronald Handfield-Jones and Arthur (Lord) Porritt, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1953 to do his National Service and gained the rank of acting squadron-leader, unusual for a National Service Officer. He then served as ship's doctor on the Queen Elizabeth II for its second Atlantic crossing, and subsequently for several more crossings and cruises.

He continued his surgical training as resident surgical officer at the Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow, and then as surgical first assistant at St George's Hospital (then still at Hyde Park Corner) where he worked with Victor Riddell and Rodney Smith. He was appointed consultant general surgeon to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester in 1965 and initially had sessions at Basingstoke and Alton as well.

Jim was a true general surgeon, having served a long apprenticeship with excellent teachers, which gave him enormous experience and confidence. He established a breast clinic at Winchester early on, and was also active in the fields of colo-proctology and urology. He was a talented clinician and a skilled operator, and was also ambidextrous. His well-mannered and gentle approach endeared him to his theatre staff, and quickly put patients at their ease.

On the administrative side he quickly developed close links with the new medical school in Southampton, arranging for students to come to Winchester for part of their training. He was the College regional adviser for Wessex in 1980, and was appointed a member of the Court of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1978, becoming Chairman in 1984. He was also an active member of the Surgical 60 Club.

As a medical student at St Mary's he played a leading part in the operatic and dramatic society, especially in Gilbert and Sullivan productions. In retirement he and his wife restored 'Le Petit Basque', a farmhouse in the Dordogne, including a pigeonnier which he built for his grandchildren when they stayed in France. His other interests included painting, shooting, fly-fishing and photography.

Jim was a man full of humour and integrity, and he made many friends. In 1952 he married Pat, née Willis, and they had five sons, two of whom became barristers and the other three businessmen.

He died on 3 May 1996 from portal hypertension and oesophageal varices.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from RHS Lane, MS, FRCS and J P Williams, MChir, FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England