Lives of the fellows

Eric Charles Oliphant Jewesbury

b.10 June 1909 d.15 May 1996
BM BCh Oxon(1935) MRCP(1937) DM(1941) DPM(1942) FRCP(1957)

Eric Charles Oliphant Jewesbury came from a distinguished medical family. His father, Reginald Charles Jewesbury [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.255], was a consultant paediatrician and a Fellow of the College. His paternal grandfather was a physician in practice in Ceylon. He was born in Guildford and educated at Charterhouse School. He went on to Christchurch College, Oxford, and did his clinical medical studies at St Bartholomews Hospital, London. After qualifying in 1935 he held junior posts at Bart's and in 1938 became chief assistant to Arthur Geoffrey Evans [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IV, p.578]. He also worked with D E Denny Brown [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p. 146], the consultant neurologist to the hospital, and this association started Jewesbury’s interest in neurology.

In 1939 he won a scholarship to study in America and worked at the Pennsylvania General Hospital in Philadelphia, returning to Bart’s a year later. Shortly after the outbreak of war the Bart’s unit moved with Evans to St Albans Hospital. In 1941 he joined the RAF Medical Service and remained in the service until 1946, leaving with the rank of wing commander. He served in South Africa, Italy and in the South East Asia Command, in the latter post as an adviser in neuro-psychiatry.

After demobilization he went to the National Hospital, Queen Square, where he became interested in electro-encephalography and worked in the EEG department. In the same year he obtained the part time post of neurological registrar to John Elkington [Munk’s Roll, Vol.V, p. 116] at St Thomas’s Hospital. In 1948 he was appointed consultant neurologist at the Royal Northern Hospital.

He published on neurological subjects over the years including some case histories and others describing the effects of drug therapy. He also wrote important review articles, including work on partial lobe syndrome and on congenital indifference to pain. He wrote precise immaculate English, weighing every word he wrote.

For several years he served as postgraduate dean at the Royal Northern Hospital, concentrating on medical education. He made several films for teaching purposes, the most important of these showing involuntary movements. He also made a teaching tape on the medical aspects of speech disorders.

He served on the committee of the Association of British Neurologists and enjoyed attending conferences, both in England and abroad. His comments at meetings were always shrewd and pertinent. He kept up with the rapidly changing scene in neurology but his opinions were always based on clinical judgement. The Royal Northern Hospital was his main base and he wrote a history of the hospital in 1956, its centenary year.

After his retirement in 1975 he became an honorary consultant at the City Migraine Clinic. He began new hobbies and renewed old interests. He took up trout fishing in his late 70s, learning to cast a fly at Highgate Ponds. He later fished for salmon in Scotland. He was particularly fond of music and joined Bart’s Choir. He composed his own music and learnt composition at the City Lit adult education institute. He was a very good photographer and every year sent his friends a print of a scene in Regents Park taken in the previous few months. These began in black and white but changed to colour over the years. He had a batchelor apartment at North Gate near the Park which was immaculately kept. He was quite the gourmet and very much enjoyed dinners, both at the College and at his various clubs.

K Heathfield

[Brit.med.J., 1996,313,1327]

(Volume X, page 262)

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