Henry Jonathan Kersley was born in Bath, the son of a distinguished rheumatologist. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, followed by Cambridge University. He completed his medical studies at St Bartholomew’s Hospital between 1962 and 1965, receiving an M.A. He became an MRCS and LRCP in 1968. He was senior house Officer in Ophthalmology at Bart’s before moving to the Croydon Eye Unit in 1967-68, with a further post as Registrar in Ophthalmology at Westminster Hospital. He became a Member of the Royal College of Ophthalmology when it was founded in 1988.
He developed an interest in contact lenses early in his career with a particular emphasis on soft lenses and aphakia. In 1974, he gave his first paper at the international meeting of the Contact Lens Society in Montreux and this was followed by his involvement in the clinical development of both Sauflon 70 and Sauflon 85 by Contact Lenses Manufacturing Ltd. Before implants were universally considered, he was possibly the first to fit soft lenses immediately after cataract surgery. He published two papers in 1980 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology on fitting extended wear lenses at operation.
Kersley was President of the British Contact Lens Association 1978-1979 with the presidential address ‘Modern Anterior Segment Surgery and advancing contact lens technology’. He also designed and implemented the presidential chain of office and the past president’s badge. He was the inaugural Fellow of the BCLA. He is universally known for his service to numerous contact lens bodies including the Medical Contact Lens Association (now the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association), the European Contact Lens Association, the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, the International Contact Lens Council of Ophthalmology and the International Contact Lens Society of Ophthalmology. There are now various Kersley Lectures to recognise his work with these bodies.
‘The fitting of soft lenses in aphakia’, The Optician, 170, 12-18.
‘The aphakic hydrophilic lens in hospital practice’, (with Gasson, A.) Contacto, 19, 3, 14-20.
Hydrophilic lenses for ‘continuous’ wear in aphakia: fitting at operation (with Pierse, D.), British Journal of Ophthalmology, 61, 1, 34-37, Jan 1977.
‘Hydrophilic lenses for ‘continuous’ wear in aphakia: definitive fitting and the problems that occur’. (with Kerr, C. and Pierse, D.), British Journal of Ophthalmology, 61, 1, 38-42, Jan 1977