Doctor from town dies in England

Dr Jack Clement Charlton. INLM30-008
Dr Jack Clement Charlton. INLM30-008
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A Lurgan man who became a doctor and worked at a general practice in England has died aged 90.

Dr John (known always as Jack) Clement Charlton was born on September 8, 1922, in Hill Street, Lurgan the second child of three. He had a brother Billy, born in 1919, and sister Betty, born in 1925.

The family moved to Gilford Road in 1927 where Betty still lives. Billy was killed in active service on June 1, 1942, with the RAF. There is a stained glass window in Hill Street Presbyterian Church, in his memory.

Jack was seriously ill as a child with a lung infection and as a result did not start school until the late age of 10. Eventually he attended Lurgan College and graduated as a Doctor from Queens University, Belfast in 1946. Despite all the hard work he still found time to play cricket locally for Lurgan.

His family were originally from County Monaghan. His father, Clement John Charlton was born in Emyvale and moved to Portadown where he did an apprenticeship with a Mr Baull and later a Mr Magurran in 40, Market Street, Lurgan. In 1925, the year of Jack’s birth, he set up his own hardware business, Charlton and Co at 51 Market Street, Lurgan which became Corkins in 1943.

As a newly qualified doctor he went to work at Lurgan Hospital and in 1947 met his soul mate Mary Eleanor (Maureen) Rodgers, a radiographer. They married on April 19, 1949 in First Antrim Presbyterian Church in Maureen’s home town, Antrim. They then moved to England where he worked initially in Wolverhampton and thought about training as a surgeon. After a few spells as a locum GP, Jack’s work took them to Mickleover, Derby in August 1950 where he entered into partnership with Dr Michael McCahey, a UCD Dublin graduate.

Jack always retained close links with Northern Ireland where he and Maureen had a flat in Portstewart. He kept a great interest in Lurgan, visiting his sister Betty and her daughters Victoria and Eleanor. Victoria also qualified as a doctor at Queen’s University and works as a GP while Eleanor is a practice nurse in Lurgan. Victor Malcolmson from Lurgan College remained a lifelong friend. He was proud that a great niece and nephew now attend Lurgan College.

He retired in 1990 and despite the article in the Derby Evening Telegraph where he was described as hanging up his stethoscope he went on to do locums in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and for his son Rodger in Hampton-in-Arden. He was made a lifelong member of the British Medical Association and Medical Defence Union.

His joys in life were his late wife Maureen and his family. He loved gardening and his greenhouse where he regularly grew tomatoes and cucumbers. Maureen and he loved travelling and their caravan. They visited most caravan sites in the UK. With his love of cricket, he was a regular visitor to the Tom Dollery suite to watch Warwickshire and England at Edgbaston.

Jack was predeceased by Maureen in July 2011. In 2009 Jack and Maureen celebrated their Diamond Wedding with their children and grandchildren and a letter from the Queen.

Jack died on July 10, 2013, after a short illness and there will be a cremation and thanksgiving service in Derby on August 9. His ashes will then brought home to Lurgan, the town he never forgot, to be interred in the family grave alongside wife, Maureen.

Jack leaves his sister, Betty and her two children along with sons, Billy, John and Rodger, their eight children and one great grandchild.