Sue Young Histories

John Bertrand Leslie Ainsworth 1919 - 2007

November 17, 2007

ainsworthJohn Bertrand Leslie Ainsworth 1919 - 2007 FRPharmS, FFHom passed away on 31.8.07 aged 88.

Ainsworth opened Ainsworth’s Pharmacy in 1978 and it still bears all three Royal Warrants, Queen Mother, Prince of Wales and the Queen as Royal Chemists.

[Mr Ainsworth registered in 1949 and retired from the Register in

  1. Mr Ainsworth was president of the International Homoeopathy Pharmacists Committee from 1976 to 1978.](

Tribute by Stephen Kayne The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 279 No 7471 p367-368 29 September 2007 The homoeopathic community has lost a great supporter in the passing of John Ainsworth. He made an outstanding contribution to homoeopathic pharmacy for more than 30 years.

John began reading for a degree in chemistry at King’s College London and Bristol, but with the outbreak of the 1939-45 war his studies were interrupted and he joined the Devon Regiment in Exeter. Commissioned in 1940 he moved to the Staffordshire Regiment and subsequently saw action in North Africa and Italy with the Eighth Army. He returned to the UK in January 1944 from where he was posted to north west Europe shortly after D-Day. John sustained a serious leg wound that was to trouble him for the rest of his life, and was finally invalided out the army during the following year.

John’s wife Peggy, whom he married in 1942, had a family connection with Dudley Wooton Everitt, a director of Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacy of Duke Street, London, and he secured employment there. He took a two-year pharmacy course with the aid of a government grant for interrupted studies and joined the Register on 22 July 1949, after completing a preregistration year at Nelson’s. John stayed with the company for many years eventually becoming a director.

Following the tragic death of his two fellow directors, Mr and Mrs Dudley Wooton Everitt, in an aeroplane crash in 1972, and the subsequent sale of Nelson’s to the Truth Research Foundation, John opened his own homoeopathic pharmacy on 6 June 1978 in New Cavendish Street, London, with a staff of six. The grant of royal warrants to HM The Queen and HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother soon followed.

From 1978 until John’s retirement in April 1989 (when the staff had grown to 56), Ainsworth’s Homeopathic Pharmacy prospered and enjoyed considerable professional and public support. The pharmacy served three Royal physicians Marjorie Blackie, Charles Elliott and Ronald Davey and a host of other influential clients.

John supported the work of the British Homeopathic Association enthusiastically throughout his professional life, joining its council in 1955 and serving as treasurer for many years, before being elected life president in 1992. He was also a council member of the Homeopathic Trust. John was instrumental in promoting homoeopathy at a time when consumers were beginning to ask questions about the safety of orthodox medicines.

He organised courses for pharmacists through the BHA and encouraged the over-the-counter supply of homoeopathic medicines. John and Peggy contributed to BHA roadshows around the country; I recall that the events were accompanied by much fun and laughter (for the presenters) but were also effective in spreading the idea of responsible and appropriate use of homoeopathy.

In Europe John was president of the International Homoeopathic Pharmacists Committee (CIPH) for three consecutive years and UK member of the CIPH Scientific Commission, where he contributed to early work on the European Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.

His important contribution to homoeopathic pharmacy was acknowledged through the award of fellowships by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Faculty of Homeopathy (where he was the first pharmacist to be so honoured) in the 1990s.

I knew John Ainsworth for more than 40 years. I greatly appreciated his willingness to share his extensive knowledge and his great support during my formative years as a newly qualified pharmacist. His dry wit was legendary. John is survived by his three children Vivienne, Hilary and Philip, to whom his colleagues express their deepest sympathy.