John was born in 1925. He was my senior consultant colleague at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and my next door neighbour.
John was my mentor, colleague and friend for over 25 years. He was the last of a breed. A consummate surgeon, a leader by example and, by respect, he was of authoritative stature.
John Carron Brown was known affectionately by his Norwich colleagues as JCB.
After qualification and completion of positions as House surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital, John served for a short time as ship's surgeon with the Royal Main Shipping Company.
In 1952 he became House Physician at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
His general surgical training continued through St John and Elizabeth's Hospitals and Redhill and Reigate Hospital before returning to the Middlesex Hospital and obtaining his FRCS.
JCB trained as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Chelsea Hospital for Women, the Middlesex Hospital and Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. He trained under some of our specialty greats, including Sir Charles Read PRCOG, Ralph Winterton and Ossie Lloyd. He obtained his membership in 1959, his fellowship in 1975 and he was appointed as a consultant in Norwich in 1963.
John led a busy life in clinical practice and was instrumental in the development of local maternity and gynaecological services . He specialised in gynaecological malignancy and received tertiary referrals from across East Anglia. As clinical management was first developed, he was the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital's first clinical director in obstetrics and gynaecology . He was a great supporter of Cromer and District Cottage Hospital and held weekly clinics and operating sessions in north Norfolk until he retired in 1990.
John was a superb clinician, a great surgeon and he had a giant personality. He was a great teacher of medical students, midwives and doctors. His enthusiasm and encouraging approach led to many trainees following careers in obstetrics and gynaecology, careers which he subsequently followed and supported. He delighted in the success of those coming after him. He was a great clinical leader, a tremendous supporter of fellow professionals, particularly midwives and physiotherapists, and for many, both a mentor and fine role model.
Within East Anglia he was a member of the Regional Medical Advisory Council for eight years and its chair for two years. He was also chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich Staff Committee and the Hospital Planning Committee. In addition to this, he was representative on the East Anglian Regional Health Board and was the regional lead for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths.
John undertook a significant amount of committee work and was an examiner for the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham as well as for the Central Midwives' Board. He was elected and served as member's representative on the RCOG Council for six years and served on the RCOG's Finance and Executive Committee and also the Hospital Recognition Committee. He examined for the RCOG Diploma and Membership and became the RCOG representative on Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine and the Physiotherapy Board. In recognition of all his work and support, in 1995, he was awarded an honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists.
Throughout his schooldays at Oundle and during his medical school training he played cricket, tennis and soccer. He captained Middlesex Hospital at cricket. He started playing golf at an early age and played off a reasonable handicap, always better than mine, until a few years before his death. He was a good shot, enjoyed game shooting and took up fly-fishing in retirement.
More sedentary pursuits were found in the study of history and he became particularly knowledgeable on the Napoleonic era and the Indian Empire. Gardening was an abiding passion, particularly the cultivation of roses.
John was a stalwart supporter of the College and all that it stands for. We exchanged views over many aspects of medicine, the specialty and life in general, usual over a beer. His humour, his sarcasm and his often obscure thought processes will be remembered fondly by all those who knew him. But me, I will also remember him as a great man, a great surgeon, a good neighbour, and someone who was a tremendous support and, despite the generation between us, a very close friend .
He leaves a widow Sue, five daughters, one son and 16 grandchildren.