The remarkable life of an English veterinary surgeon
in the last century.
A New Book now available online.
(prepared for publication) by Mike Berwyn-Jones
view a description and extract of this, then download it to your
PC, pocket PC, laptop, e-book reader etc., please visit: http://00223.nospine.net
and click on the title
memoirs of my father from 1898 to 1958 found after his death in
1968: soldier in two world wars; veterinary surgeon (specialising
in equine surgery); pioneer radiographer; horseman; huntsman;
farmer; fisherman; and more. Compiled with an introduction and
16 photographs added. In PDF for reading/printing/marking/searching
using Adobe Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Ebook Reader freely available
from www.adobe.com , www.amazon.com/ebooks/ and many other sites.
It will fascinate lovers of animals, horse racing, fishing, other
country pursuits, and life stories.
his obituary in The Veterinary Record:
One month before he was wounded and gassed during World War I
in France at the age of l8½, his CO's report began:
"Victor Berwyn-Jones has done excellent service as a subaltern
of a 4.5" Howitzer Battery (D/82 R.F.A.) in France. He is
an exceptionally good horseman and won the officers* jumping competition,
in good company, at 18th Div. R.A. Sports at Hendicourt in July,
His love of horses took him to the Royal Veterinary College, London,
where he obtained three certificates of merit and was captain
of the rugby club for two seasons.
In 1925 he qualified MRCVS, and married Leonora Pasley-Dirom,
daughter of the squire of Mount Annan, Dumfries, Scotland. They
had four children; the first died when 18 months old, the others
are still alive (2002).
At Wonersh, a village in Surrey, England, he built up a large
practice on his own account with premises that were exceptional
for the times: 20 loose-boxes; 50 kennels; large and small animal
operating theatres; clinical laboratory; X-ray rooms; forge; dispensary;
harness room; two paddocks, and a lay staff of six.
He was the pioneer among practitioners in veterinary radiology
and lectured on this subject at the Glasgow Veterinary Congress
of 1938. At that time he was visiting horse studs and training
stables throughout Britain in an 8-litre Bentley pulling a horse-trailer
equipped with x-ray equipment and developing tanks for on-the-spot
His greatest disappointment was to lose all the material he collected
over the years for a complete "Atlas of the Normal Radiographic
Anatomy of the Adult Horse". It was bombed out of existence
during the blitz while awaiting publication in the publisher's
strong room in London.
He contributed over 20 articles to The Veterinary Record and British
He was re-commissioned as a Captain in the second world war, and
raised and commanded the 1st Surrey Battalion, Mounted Section
During that early part of WW2, in addition to practice duties
and those of Local Veterinary Inspector for the Ministry of Agriculture,
he reclaimed and farmed 75 derelict acres that became a fertile
mixed arable farm carrying a Kerry Hill ewe flock and herd of
"VBJ." won many point-to-point races, and was successful
locally and nationally in hunter trials and horse shows with his
own animals. He was jointly responsible for the formation of the
Chiddingfold Farmers' Hunt, accommodating hounds and hunt staff
on his own premises, and hunting them himself until 1946.
Having exhausted his reserves, he sold his practice after the
war to take charge of the Horse Department, northern territory,
British Railways, with 3,000 horses, ancillary staffs, mills and
depots in his care. Mechanization gradually obliterated the stud.
With some relief, for his heart belonged to the countryside, he
retired to the banks of the River Wye in Wales where he wrote,
painted in oils, sculpted, and fished for salmon and trout, making
his own rods, flies and baits, and writing expert articles for
The Field, Trout and Salmon, and other periodicals.
He died on 9th June 1968, leaving a widow, one son, two daughters
and seven grandchildren.