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BMJ. 2007 April 14; 334(7597): 805.
PMCID: PMC1852052

James Barron Bridges

Having obtained a BSc with first class honours, James Barron Bridges (“Barry”) joined the university anatomy department in 1954, and was admitted to MD with gold medal in 1957. A Nuffield Foundation research fellow in Harwell, he also trained at the University of Georgia. Appointed lecturer in 1958, he was awarded a personal chair in 1974.

An active researcher in embryology and heterotopic ossification and an enthusiastic teacher who was always very sympathetic to his students, Barry served as president of the Belfast Medical Students' Association. In latter years he was very much in demand as a speaker at medical reunions and other functions. An active member of the Council of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, he represented university teachers and medical researchers both locally and nationally and was chairman of the local BMA in 1986.

He commanded a Territorial Army field ambulance and a general hospital and was an honorary colonel for five years. In 1975-7 he was appointed Queen's honorary physician and was awarded the Territorial Decoration with 2 bars. A member of St John Ambulance for 40 years, he was appointed commander brother in 1988.

While a keen angler, Barry's main recreational interest was rugby and particularly the university club. A blue during his student days, he was president on two occasions and managed international tours not only for Queen's but also for the combined Irish universities teams.

His final progressive illness was borne with good humour and dignity, and in his illness he was greatly supported by his wife, Elsie, and four children, who survive him.


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