Lives of the fellows

John Herbert Moseley

b.16 April 1910 d.21 March 1993
MRCS LRCP(1934) BChir Cantab(1935) MA MB(1937) MRCP(1946) FRCP(1966)

John Moseley was a man of high principles, intelligence and quick wit. His father, Herbert Harvey Moseley, was a solicitor and John had all the attributes necessary for the legal profession. He also had a great interest in scientific gadgets which greatly helped him in advances in paediatrics, being the first to encompass new ideas. He was related through a distant cousin to Henry Moseley FRS, after whom Moseley’s Law of Atomic Numbers is named.

John’s early education was at Gresham’s, Holt, and he studied medicine at King’s College, Cambridge, and St Thomas’ Hospital. He served throughout the second world war in the RAMC. From 1947-50 he was registrar, then first assistant, to the professorial department in Birmingham Children’s Hospital. In 1950 he was appointed as consultant to Portsmouth and Isle of Wight Hospitals and he was a dominant figure in the development of St Mary’s Hospital as the main hospital in Portsmouth. With his colleagues, he helped to procure the medical school at Southampton for the Wessex region. He was an extremely good clinician and dedicated to the care of children in the hospital.

He was a superb administrator and a prominent figure in the management of St Mary’s. As a colleague, he was always considerate and helpful and many of his junior staff followed his example and became paediatricians. His publications include an article on ‘Oral penicillin in paediatrics’, in 1948, and he won the Wessex regional board essay prize in 1965 with a paper on ‘Pathogenesis of massive pulmonary haemorrhage in the newborn’. Just before he retired he wrote an excellent description of the management of diabetic pre-coma using small doses of insulin intramuscularly.

John married Celestine Mary née Barlow-Poole in 1943 and they had two children, a son and a daughter. He greatly valued family life and his leisure pursuits included sailing dinghies, chess and bridge. In later years he had a motor launch. When he retired he studied for an amateur radio licence and subsequently ran a National Radio Club for the Disabled for many years. He made many friends among radio buffs, both nationally and internationally. His wife and family remained close to him in his retirement and nursed him throughout his final two years. He was also much loved by the parents of his patients.

G M Lewis

[Brit.med.J., 1993,307,197]

(Volume IX, page 381)

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