Lives of the fellows

Jean Francisque Delafresnaye

b.10 September 1919 d.8 April 2000
MB Lond(1946) MRCS LRCP(1946) MD Paris(1947) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1972)

Jean Francisque Delafresnaye was a former executive director of the International Union Against Cancer, based in Geneva. He was born in London of French parents and was educated at the French lycée in London. He then went to Paris to study medicine. In 1939 he moved to Lyon to continue his studies.

In November 1942 his brother heard on the radio the phrase 'Les carottes son cuites' ('The carrots are cooked'). These words signalled that Jean was having problems and they immediately left France, crossing over the Pyrenees by foot. Arriving in Spain they were captured by the Spanish police and were imprisoned until the spring of 1943, when they returned to the UK.

Jean managed to prove that he had completed four years of medical school in France, and finished his medical studies at Guy's. He finally qualified in 1946. After an appointment as a house officer at Guy's he then returned to France, completing his MD in 1947.

From 1947 to 1950 he was a physician in the French Hospital in London. During this time he passed his membership examination of the College. In 1950 he was offered the post of executive secretary of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences. He stayed there for ten years. He was then appointed executive director of the International Union Against Cancer. The work involved finding funds for research and organizing meetings throughout the world. He retired in 1982.

RCP editor

(Volume XI, page 148)

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