Lives of the fellows

John Donald Ball

b.25 March 1914 d.14 December 1995
MB BS Lond(1937) MRCP(1941) MD(1961) FRCP(1970)

Donald Ball was a consultant chest physician in Cardiff who researched into the links between pneumoconiosis suffered by miners and tuberculosis. He was born in London and educated at Bishop’s Stortford College. Deciding on a career in medicine, he graduated from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1937. His brother, Keith Ball, also became a doctor. Donald Ball held several posts in London and Hull before joining the RAMC in 1941. He saw service in various military hospitals in India and stayed in the continent after demobilization, working as a physician and lecturer at the Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore.

On his return to London in 1950 he was appointed as a registrar and tutor at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School.

From 1952 to 1954 he worked in Uganda, as first assistant in the department of medicine, Makerere College, Kampala. Here he produced work for his MD thesis on endomyocardial fibrosis.

In 1955 he was appointed as a physician to the Miner’s Chest Disease Treatment Centre, Llandough Hospital, Penwrith, Wales. He was later director of the Regional Assisted Respiration Unit in the same area.

He was widely travelled, especially in the Third World. Following retirement he spent several years in an ashram in India engaged in inner enquiry. He married Margaret Bremner in 1939 and they had two sons and a daughter. He died of Parkinsons disease.

G S Kilpatrick

[Brit.med.J., 1996,312,841]

(Volume X, page 21)

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