Sir Francis Avery Jones was known amongst his contemporaries as the "Father of Modern Gastroenterology". Born in Briton Ferry, Carmarthenshire on 31st May 1910, he graduated from St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical school in 1934, and received his MD and MRCP in 1936. In 1940 he became Consulting Physician and Gastroenterologist at Central Middlesex Hospital, London, remaining in this position until 1974.
Other positions of note include: Honorary Consulting Gastroenterologist at St Mark's Hospital, London, Emeritus Consultant in Gastroenterology to the Royal Navy and Honorary Consultant Physician at St Bartholomew's, London.
Avery Jones was a pioneer in the development of the modern approach to the treatment of peptic ulcer disease, publishing a series of important papers on the subject in association with Richard Doll. Doll and Avery Jones identified a number of factors which accelerated the healing of peptic ulcers, including bed rest, cessation of smoking and use of the drug carbenoxolene.
Throughout his illustrious career, Avery Jones was actively involved with a number of medical societies, presiding over several, including the British Society of Gastroenterology, the British Digestive Foundation and the Medical Artists Association.
Further honours and appointments include a seat on the council of the University Of Surrey; the presidency and gold medal of The Medical Society of London; the vice presidency and gold medal of the Royal College of Physicians; and the Mastership of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, for whom he also held the title of Barber Emeritus. He was made a CBE in 1967 and knighted in 1970.
Avery Jones was a strong supporter and constructive critic of the NHS, and his many achievements include setting up the Meals on Wheels service, his involvement in the King's Fund (a medical think tank), and his strong support for nutritional studies. He was also responsible for galvanising his colleagues into official action on cigarette smoking.
Towards the end of his career he arranged for the funding and building of the Avery Jones Postgraduate Medical Centre at Central Middlesex Hospital. He died in May 1998 in Chichester, West Sussex.