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John Swift Joly

1876 - 1944

Irish-born surgeon with lifelong interest in stones

John Swift Joly (1876 - 1944) was born at Athlone in 1876. His father, also John Swift Joly, was the rector. He studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin graduating in 1902.

He studied at Berne and Vienna and then in London, being appointed Assistant Surgeon at St Peter's Hospital for Stone and later senior surgeon following Sir John Thompson-Walker.

He served as a major in the RAMC in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War and was later Consulting Urologist to the Navy.

He was particularly interested in stone disease, this being the subject of his presidential address to the Section of Urology of the Royal Society of Medicine and the theme of his famous 1929 book, "Stone and Calculous Diseases of the Urinary Organs". According to Cuthbert Duke, who wrote his obituary, Swift Joly often jokingly signed his letters "Yours in haste", yet he never seemed to be in a hurry, always radiating confidence and tranquility.

He described a new posterior urethroscope in 1922 and an abdominal ring retractor (with modifications now known as the Turner–Warwick retractor).

Swift Joly died at his home, 80 Harley Street, on 14 December 1944.

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