Home London Charlotte Jones Obituary | Contraception and family planning

Charlotte Jones Obituary | Contraception and family planning


My friend Charlotte Jones, who has died aged 95, was a pioneering GP, early advocate of family planning services and a midwife who taught doctors and midwives how to make births as positive as possible for women, with less medical intervention and more partner involvement .

An only child, Charlotte was born in Vienna and raised in Czechoslovakia. Her father, Stefan Hartstein, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Bratislava, died when she was seven years old. A few months after Hitler’s annexation of the Czech Sudetenland in 1938, when Charlotte was 11 years old, she and her mother, Marianne (née Elbogen), a nurse, sought refuge in London at a distant cousin’s house, and Charlotte studied at the local grammar school.

Charlotte’s medical research coincided with the birth of the NHS in 1948 when she won an exhibition at the Royal Free Medical School for Women in the capital. After qualifying as a doctor in 1954, she became a midwifery registrar at a small maternity home in Walthamstow, north-east London. She met her first husband, Anthony Wisdom, a venereologist, while working as an obstetrician at the Mile End Hospital (now the Royal London Hospital), and they married in 1956 and had four children before divorcing.

Marriage and motherhood put paid to her desire to become a counselor, and instead she worked as a general practitioner and in school, baby care and family planning clinics. In addition to contraceptive advice and services – at a time when such things were only whispered about – she provided psychological counseling and taught contraception to nurses, doctors and health workers.

In 1966, she married Alan Jones, an occupational health physician and father of three. Five years later the couple moved to Monmouth, south Wales, where they had a holiday home, and at the age of 55 she retrained as a general practitioner. University Hospital of Wales. There was only one GP practice in Monmouth and it did not accept female doctors, so Charlotte set up her own practice there and ran it successfully until her retirement in 2000.

In 2011, Charlotte played a crucial role in reviving research into a potential cure for tuberculosis that had been developed in Prague a century earlier by her grandfather, Friedrich Veleminski. Charlotte sought out a group of scientists from University College London and gave them her grandfather’s papers and his culture. Her cousin, Judy Veleminski, a volunteer microbiologist, is now part of the research team treatment.

Alun died in 2005, Charlotte’s daughter Lucy in 2009 and her son Ollie in 2021. She is survived by her sons, Mickey and Julian; four grandchildren, Gee, Elvis, Stella and Jasper; and her stepchildren, Genevieve, Lynn and Crispin.


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