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John David Eugene Strong (1937 - 1944)

Born in Newport, where his family ran the successful ironmongery business, H J Strong & Co. His mother was Helen Eugenie Sandow, daughter of the famous strongman Eugene Sandow. John boarded at a farm in Trellech, cycling down the hill to Monmouth School every morning and dreading the ride back in the evening.

After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge, he moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, where he qualified as a doctor before transferring to Dollis Hill for his first house job, and where he met his wife-to-be.

John was a founder member and council member of the Royal College of Ophthalmology. He was one of the first surgeons in England to perform intra-ocular lens implants during cataract surgery in 1961.

John followed horse racing, loved golf and painting - he was a friend of the Royal Academy. Music was also a great love and he spent many years singing with Brecon Cathedral Singers.

Sadly, his final years were marred by the onset of dementia, and he didn’t quite make it to 100. One claim to fame, however, was being invited to tea by Arnold Swarzenegger at Llangoed Hall when he was 91. ‘Arnie’ was determined to meet the only grandson of the renowned Eugene Sandow and squeezed in a flying visit between attending COP 24 and George Bush Senior’s funeral! John enjoyed the large selection of cakes but didn’t seem to recognise the celebrity host. Arnold on the other hand was thrilled and very kind and attentive to John.

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