John Hammond: Third generation Norfolk vet specialised in tropical animal health

A third generation of Norfolk veterinary surgeons, Dr John Hammond, who specialised in tropical animal health, has died aged 87 – a fortnight before his birthday.

His grandfather, John, who farmed at Bale, between Holt and Fakenham, was a veterinary surgeon and the family tradition continued down the generations. Another related family member, later Sir John Hammond, developed and pioneered artificial insemination in cattle at Cambridge during the 1930s and 1940s.

John Arthur Hammond, who was born at Bale on May 21, 1925, went to Gresham's. He studied at the Royal Veterinary College, London, where he qualified. He returned to Fakenham and gained further experience for in private practice.

After further studies at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he spent about 15 years in East Africa, initially as a district veterinary officer in Tanganyika, now Tanzania.

He became principal scientific officer with the East African Veterinary Research Organisation, then based in Kenya. His work, mainly with livestock and dealing with the serious problems caused by tsetse fly in cattle, was influential in the research for his doctorate.


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He returned to Edinburgh in 1978 and became senior lecturer in the department of tropical medicine where his practical experience, especially in Africa, was appreciated by a succession of overseas students. He also edited the professional journal on tropical animal health for more than 20 years. He was keen on sport and especially followed cricket.

He leaves a widow, Annemarie. He is survived by a niece and two nephews, including Walter, who farms at Bale, and his younger brother, David, who lives in north Norfolk. A funeral has taken place in Edinburgh.

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Michael Pollitt

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