Obituary Jock Anderson FRCS OBE
It is with regret that we report the death of Dr John DC Anderson, better known to his many friends and colleagues as ‘Jock’, on June 16, 2006.
Jock was born on August 21, 1924, in Lincolnshire, UK, where he spent his early childhood. He later attended Bedford School and went on to work as an electronics engineer during the war years. He then studied medicine at Cambridge University and, while completing his training at the Middlesex Hospital, London, he met his wife, Gwendy.
In 1955, they left for Asia to work, firstly at the Church Mission Society Hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, and, later, the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, India. Jock was deeply concerned for the enormous number of visually impaired people without access to medical care. He realised a dream when, in 1960, a mobile ‘caravan hospital’, shipped from the UK, brought ophthalmic and general medical services to many thousands in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. In 1967 Jock moved to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he helped to set up the first eye hospital, trained doctors and nurses, and established eye camps.
Jock joined the newly formed Department of Preventive Ophthalmology (International Centre for Eye Health) at the Institute of Ophthalmology/Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, in 1981. He conducted pioneering research based on surveys in Somali refugee camps, in Zanzibar and Eastern Sudan. During his time at ICEH he was much involved in the teaching programme, and he and Gwendy showed warm and caring hospitality to many overseas students, whose cultural concerns they fully understood after their years in Asia.
Despite spending the last fourteen years of his life in a wheelchair, due to paraplegia caused by a spinal tumour, Jock remained a cheerful, positive and gracious person, sustained by his steadfast faith.
Past and present staff and students at ICEH will remember Jock with much affection and gratitude and we convey our deepest sympathy to Gwendy and their three children and nine grandchildren.