Lives of the fellows

James Clough Davies

b.8 March 1928 d.23 January 1990
MB BS Durh(1951) MRCPE(1961) FRCPE(1978) FRCP(1984)

James Clough Davies was the son of Robert William Davies, a company director. He was born in Northumberland and educated at Morpeth Grammar School and Kings College, Durham University. After graduation he was house physician at Sunderland Royal Infirmary and later senior house officer in medicine at Tynemouth Infirmary, North Shields. He spent the period of National Service, from 1953-55, as a junior medical specialist in HM Forces, East Africa Command, serving in Mauritius and Kenya. It was at this time that he met his future wife, Barbara Quelch, a nursing sister. They had two daughters, Lynne and Catrin.

After demobilization he was appointed medical registrar at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, he became RMO and staff physician at Newcastle General Hospital In the following year he was appointed assistant physician (geriatrics) for the Newcastle Hospitals Group. In 1963 he was appointed consultant physician in geriatric medicine to the Welsh Hospital Board; Clough Davies was then solely responsible for the development of geriatric services in Mid and South West Wales. The territory he covered was vast, necessitating long hours and a great deal of travelling. This is reflected in the fact that his original post is now covered by six consultant physicians in geriatric medicine.

He was an excellent committee mman, devoting time both to local hospital activities and to the British Geriatrics Society where he served as chairman of the Welsh branch, as well as on the council and executive of the National Society. His administrative and organizing talents were recognised within the East Dyfed Health Authority when he was appointed a member in 1976 and vice-chairman in 1982, an appointment he held until his death. He served as chairman of the Welsh Association of Health Authorities and was a member of the National Association of Health Authorities.

‘Clough’, as he was widely known, retired from his post at West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen, in 1988 after a period of 25 years and at the early age of 60. He had many plans for enjoying his well deserved retirement, not least for it to be spent fly-fishing on the local rivers, but these were tragically interrupted by the sudden onset of illness in the Spring of 1989, which necessitated brain surgery. Although he appeared to have made a good recovery from this, and was soon back at Health Authority meetings, the illness unfortunately recurred early the following year and he died peacefully at home.

At his funeral service the officiating minister described him as ‘a gentleman’ and this is the image of James Clough Davies that many friends will have - the dignified, immaculate and rather reserved figure. But those of us who knew him well will also recall the humorous side of his character and the fun we invariably had in his company.

M S J Pathy

(Volume IX, page 117)

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