James Barry Ball was born at Manorhamilton in County Leitrim and qualified in medicine at University College, London, in 1870. After some fifteen years of general practice in Brixton, he decided on a consultant’s career and in 1885 obtained election as assistant physician to the West London Hospital. In 1887 he took charge of its department for diseases of the throat and nose; and, later, diseases of the ear, too, came within his province. He was made full physician in 1893 and consulting physician in 1905. Barry Ball also lectured in the West London Postgraduate College and served on the staff of the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth. He was the author of a Handbook of Diseases of the Nose and Nasopharynx (1890), which reached a fifth edition, and of articles in Quain’s Dictionary of Medicine. He did much to raise the status of his branch of medicine at a critical period in its development. Barry Ball passed the last years of his life at Abingdon, where he died. He married Clare, daughter of Joseph Weld, and had a son and a daughter.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1926; B.M.J., 1926; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1927, 34]