Lives of the fellows

Arthur Morgan Jones

b.22 November 1910 d.3 January 1979
BSc Manch(1934) MSc(1935) MB ChB(1938) MRCP(1942) FRCP(1948)

Arthur Morgan Jones was a native of Glamorgan, the son of a Welsh schoolmaster. He was educated in Bangor, North Wales. Always attracted to the biological sciences he entered the Victoria University of Manchester, firstly as a Dalton scholar in physiology, but fairly quickly decided to turn to medicine.

His undergraduate career was distinguished by prizes and scholarships in physiology, medicine and pharmacology. After graduation he became house surgeon to Crichton Bramwell, and through him he was introduced to the specialty of cardiology, a specialty which became all absorbing to him, and to which he made great contributions.

Rejected for military service because of an attack of rheumatic pericarditis as a student, Morgan Jones spent part of the war in research at the University of Cambridge, returning to the Manchester Royal Infirmary as RMO in 1944. From 1946 —1947 he worked in the United States, first of all as a holder of a Leverhulme research scholarship and later a Rockefeller travelling fellowship. Much of this time was spent in Harold Feil's department in Cleveland, and this was a period which he enjoyed very much, remaining thereafter a frequent visitor to the United States.

He succeeded Crichton Bramwell as director of the department of cardiology at the Manchester Royal Infirmary on the latter’s retirement in 1954, a post he held until his own retirement in 1971. His services to Manchester medicine were recognized by his election to the presidency of the Manchester Medical Society in 1969, and he also was a member and sometime councillor of the British Cardiac Society, a founder member of the Council of the British Heart Foundation, and a member of the Research Committee of the International Society of Cardiology.

The collaboration between Bramwell and Morgan Jones led to the founding of the university department of cardiology at Manchester Royal Infirmary, then the first University department in the country. He believed in the importance of clinical research and contributed to it throughout his life. From 1936 to 1947 he maintained a close working relationship with Walter Schlapp, professor of physiology in the University of Manchester.

His clinical research interests were especially heart disease in pregnancy, a subject on which he wrote a classic book in 1951, and latterly, ischaemic heart disease. With Snow and Daber he was the first to show that sudden death was frequently not associated with demonstrable occlusion or infarction, and that fresh infarction was not always associated with a fresh occlusion, statements which then flouted current thinking but which are now accepted.

His contributions to the field of coronary disease were recognized when he was invited to give the Strickland Goodall memorial lecture in 1969. He also edited Progress in Cardiology and Modern Trends in Cardiology.

The clear thinking of a medical scientist, combined with a warm hearted approach to his patients, made Morgan Jones an excellent teacher both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He was an unpretentious and completely honest man, and these qualities were apparent in his dealings with students, staff and patients. Although he could be critical his comments were always well intentioned and invariably helpful.

Morgan Jones had two dominant interests outside medicine, golf and latterly music. After his retirement he developed rheumatoid arthritis, and golf became difficult for him. His interest in music deepened and he became particularly involved with the work and life of Haydn. In 1978 he developed symptoms of carcinoma of the bronchus, and although the lung was resected he died of secondary deposits. He left a brother, equally eminent in the field of education, and a sister. He was unmarried.

EG Wade

[Brit.med.J., 1979, 1, 353; Lancet, 1979, 1, 282.]

(Volume VII, page 303)

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