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Obituary: Rees Lloyd-Jones

Born: 13 June 1925
Died: 27 September 2011

Rees Lloyd-Jones was born in Pwllheli, Caernarfonshire, North Wales. He was the only child of Griffith and Marie Lloyd Jones; his father was a farmer and garage owner. They were Welsh speaking and strict Methodists, which Rees found rather challenging.

At seventeen he entered the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, and won prizes throughout his pre-clinical and clinical years. Before qualifying at the age of twenty-one he won the Hetley clinical prize in Medicine, Surgery and Obstetric Medicine, and was awarded the 'first' Broderip Scholarship, an annual prize at the Middlesex.

His resident appointments were in Obstetrics and Gynaecology before entering the Royal Air Force to complete his National Service. On his release from the RAF he began his specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The Middlesex Hospital required consultants, in the specialty, to be Fellows of one of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in the tradition of Victor Bonney who had been Vice-President of the College of Surgeons, as well as being a consultant at the Middlesex.

The Middlesex training programme in general surgery provided excellent experience, and for Rees the period spent as a Registrar to Oswald Lloyd-Davies in Colorectal Surgery was especially valuable. Rees became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1951.

His training in his chosen specialty followed at Queen Charlotte's, the Chelsea Hospital for Women, and Oxford where he rapidly progressed from Senior House Office to Senior Registrar. Oxford provided two things: a wide obstetric experience, and being a member of the 'flying squad' reaching out as far as Gloucestershire, often in poor weather and in their own cars.

At Oxford he met Elisabeth Babington Smith, an anaesthetist, and they were married in Eton College Chapel on 1 May 1954. Their only child, Emma, was born in 1957.

Returning to the Middlesex as Senior Registrar, he developed a reputation as a clinical teacher and it was as a teacher and a tutor that he will be especially remembered. He was appointed to the staff of the Middlesex in 1961. The gynaecological department was very large, as the Hospital for Women had come into the domain of The Middlesex with the advent of the National Health Service in 1948. This hospital was one of the three hospitals (Chelsea, Soho and the Samaritans) that were favoured by candidates for the membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to be resident surgical officers.

Soho had a very strong reputation in teaching operative surgery.

Although there was no Soho method, the bold Victor Bonney influence was noticeable, but refined, especially by Ralph Winterton. Rees Lloyd-Jones was not the innovator, but rather the developer of new techniques and his appointment to the staff of Soho added another rather excellent tutor.

Again, away from medicine , he had an affection for the Renaissance and baroque music but with occasional light relief from Louis Armstrong. Regular holidays in Venice at Christmas were a feature of Lloyd-Jones family life. His home at Cadmore End Common and its adjacent woods and walks brought great pleasure.

Sadly in 2003 he suffered from major pulmonary emboli from which he made only a limited recovery. He and his wife Betty (Elisabeth) moved into an elegant care home at Chilton House near Aylesbury. In 2008 Betty suffered from a fatal stroke.

Rees's quality of life was altered; although mentally alert he was physically compromised. He received excellent care and support from the Staff of Chilton House, together with the devoted care of his daughter Emma. Rees died on the 27th September 2011.