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Biographical entry Parry, John Niall Meredith (1914 - 2002)

OBE 1994; MRCS 1938; FRCS 1947; MB BS London 1942; LRCP 1938; FRCGP 1950.

8 May 1914
Barry, Glamorgan, Wales
25 December 2002
General practitioner


John Parry was born in Barry, Glamorgan, Wales, on 8 May 1914. His father, William Thomas Parry, was a barrister who died in 1917. His mother, Constance Esther née Daniel, had been a teacher of domestic science. His mother married Thomas Davies, a general practitioner, in Cardiff in 1920. John was educated at Llandaff Cathedral School (where he sang in the choir) and Newport High School. He studied medicine at University College Cardiff and the Welsh National School of Medicine. He was a house surgeon in Cardiff Royal Infirmary. He joined the Territorial Army and was mobilised at the outbreak of the war, becoming resident medical officer to the 77th HAA regiment, and later on troopships going to and from North Africa. He was demobilised with the rank of Major.

After the war, he returned to Cardiff, studied for the FRCS and became a lecturer in anatomy. In 1948, he entered general practice. He was a founder member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, provost of its Welsh faculty, and appointed to the Todd Royal Commission on Medical Education in 1965. He was a member of the Council of the University of Wales. In 1965, he joined the Civil Service Welsh Office and became divisional medical officer for Wales in 1972. He was an active member of the Order of St John, becoming prior of the chapter general in London and commander of the priory for Wales.

He married Joan Meredith Pittard-Davies, who was a member of the staff of the Blood Transfusion Service. He and Joan were keen sailors, and he became rear-commodore of the Saundersfoot Sailing Club. They had two daughters. The eldest, Heather Mereddyth Parry, became a solicitor and died in a fall in Greece in 1970. They endowed a prize for the best female final year student in the University College of Wales in her memory. The younger daughter, Lisa, became a doctor. There are three grandchildren - Jonathan, Grace and Jack. He retired in 1994, devoting himself to philately and sailing. He died on Christmas Day 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 326 504, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England