Lives of the fellows

Herbert Wynn Francis Jones

b.26 August 1918 d.23 September 1998
BA Cantab(1939) MB BChir(1942) MRCP(1948) DA(1958) DPM(1966) FRCP(1976)

‘Barry’ Francis Jones was one of the founder members of the Oswestry Spinal Injuries Unit. He was born in Tamworth, Staffordshire, where his father was a general practitioner. He was schooled at Shardlow Hall, Derby, and at Wrekin College, Shropshire. He graduated from Cambridge and obtained his MB BCh in 1942. He was a houseman at both the Queen Elizabeth and Dudley Road Hospitals, Birmingham. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1948, acquired a diploma in anaesthetics in 1958 and a diploma in psychiatry in 1966. He was awarded the FRCP in 1976.

Between 1942 and 1946 he was a captain in the Medical Corps and was posted to Nigeria and the Orkney Islands. He then joined his father’s practice in Tamworth as a junior partner for eight years. He worked as an anaesthetist in Dunedin, New Zealand, for one year and was in charge of the British Hospital in the Sudan between 1958 and 1963. He returned to England following the death of his father in 1963 and worked as a registrar in psychiatry at the Maudsley and Bethlem group of hospitals between 1963 and 1966. It was at the Bethlem Hospital that he met Jenny who worked as a sister on the group psychotherapy ward. Barry and Jenny married in 1965 and moved to Oswestry in 1966. They later had two sons, Anthony and Mark.

Barry went on to help establish the Oswestry Spinal Injuries Unit. He spent a few months at Stoke Mandeville Hospital just before Sir Ludwig Guttmann [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.233] retired. Together with Gwilym Jones and Terry McSweeney, he developed the first community liaison service (case management) in the field of spinal injuries in 1969, a service which is admired and copied nationally and internationally.

As a young man Barry was adventurous and was a keen and enthusiastic glider. He was one of the youngest members of the Midlands Gliding Club.

Barry was known for his love of books and poetry. He was a brilliant raconteur, tremendous company to be with and has regaled many of those who knew him with his quotation of literature. He was also a lover of nature. In 1976 he planted 400 trees along a half mile stretch of the Tanat Valley railway line and, together with his family, cared for them during the drought year following their plantation. At one time he kept bees and gave away the honey he harvested.

Barry was a Rotarian for twenty years and was the speaker’s secretary of the Oswestry branch for a period of five years. At the beginning of 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Paul Harris fellowship for services to orthopaedics and the Rotary Club. Barry was a sidesman and a temporary custodian of the key to the Llanyblodwel church. He never preached but led by example. His quiet belief and dedication helped him through the difficult years following his son’s accident and paralysis and during the last couple of years of his life. He died in his garden.

W S El Masry

[Spinal Cord 1999,37,153]

(Volume XI, page 302)

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