Lives of the fellows

John Foley

b.3 April 1917 d.18 June 2011
MB BChir Cantab(1941) MD(1953) MRCP(1947) FRCP(1967)

John Foley was a consultant neurologist in the south east. Born in Woodford, Essex, he was the son of Nelson Trafalgar Foley, an industrial chemist and his wife, Esther née Dahl, whose father, Christian Julius Wilhelm Dahl, was clerk to Bloch and Behrens, a wool merchant of Copenhagen. Educated at St Aubyn’s School in Woodford and then Bishop’s Stortford College in Hertfordshire, he studied medicine at Cambridge University and the London Hospital.

After qualifying in 1941 he did house jobs at Nottingham General Hospital before enlisting in the RAMC the following year. He served until 1946 with a field regiment, field ambulance, and general hospitals in Normandy, the Low Countries, Germany and India.

On demobilisation he joined the staff of the neurosurgical unit at St George's Hospital as a registrar. He moved to the Maida Vale Hospital in 1949 for a year and then returned to St George's as first assistant in the neurological department. In 1955 he became physician to the Centre for Spastic Children in Chelsea and, two years later was appointed consultant neurologist to the eastern area of the southwest metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. Initially he visited 15 hospitals but eventually he only worked at Worthing Hospital, Southlands Hospital in Shoreham and St Richard's and Graylingwell hospitals in Chichester.

He was the author of many significant scientific papers, often related to neurological problems in developing children, and contributed chapters to several important books including ‘Neurological aspects in mental subnormality’ in Mental handicap (Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1975) edited by B H Kirman and D J Bicknell and ‘Neurological assessment in cerebral palsy’ in Neurodevelopment problems in early childhood: assessment and management edited by C M Drillien and M B Drummond (Oxford, Blackwells, 1977).

A keen gardener, he also enjoyed painting and, in 1969, won a bronze award in the BMA's annual film contest.

In 1942 he married Joan Clara née Inman whose father, Howard, was an inspector of weights and measures in the Gold Coast. They had one son and three daughters. Joan survived him.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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