James Joseph RICE

RICE, James Joseph

Service Number: 282908
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: West Hilton, SA, 1 June 1915
Home Town: Goodwood, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Rostrevor College, Adelaide University
Occupation: House Surgeon Adelaide Children's Hopspital
Died: Rare Condition of the Thymus Gland, Adelaide Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, SA, 10 June 1945, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Catholic, Path 10, Grave 700B
Memorials: Rostrevor College WW2 Memorial Plaques
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World War 2 Service

28 Nov 1944: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 282908
Date unknown: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 282908
Date unknown: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 282908

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of James Joseph RICE, Vet Surgeon, Rostrevor College and Ivy Jane nee DAVEY

Dr. James Joseph Rice, a house surgeon at the Adelaide Children's Hospital, died suddenly in his sleep at the Children's Hospital yesterday. He was 30. Educated at Rostrevor  College, he graduated with honors in medicine at the University of Adelaide in 1940, and after a brief period of service as a house surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, joined  the RAAF. He was posted as a medical officer to an operational zone in Australia before being transferred in a similar capacity back to Adelaide about two years ago. Upon his  recent discharge from the Air Force, Dr Rice took up his appointment at the Children's Hospital.
During his university career. Dr. Rice was an outstanding athlete. He captained both the cricket and football first teams, and was an all- Australia university blue in the latter game.  He was also keenly interested in yachting and boxing.
Dr. Rice was the only son of Mr. J. J. Rice, president of the South Australian Trotting Club.

A rare glandular condition has been found, after exhaustive investigation, to have caused the death of prominent 30-year-old athlete Dr. James Joseph Rice. After inquiries lasting nearly three weeks, the Acting City Coroner (Mr. Ziesing) today deemed an inquest unnecessary, finding that Dr. Rice's death was due to natural causes. Dr. Rice was found dead  by a doctor colleague in bed in his room at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in the early hours of June 10.
Dr. Rice had recently taken up an appointment as house surgeon at the hospital after his discharge from the R.A.A.F. Police inquiries on behalf of the coroner failed to reveal any definite evidence as to the cause of death, and a postmortem examination was then made. It is understood that an abnormality of the thymus gland, situated at the base of the  neck, was discovered, but until other possibilities were excluded, pathologists reserved their opinions. Analysis of specimens from the body were then made, but these failed to  throw any light on the cause of death. Death has now been attributed to the particularly rare condition of the thymus gland. The gland usually continues to grow until the second  year of life. It then remains dormant until the age of about 12, when it dete riorates and becomes inactive. It was found in this case that it had not entirely ceased its activity. In  Adelaide it has been found that the likelihood of this condition causing death is 'longer odds than one in 10,000.' 

J. J. Rice
DR. James Joseph Rice; M.B., B.S., who died suddenly, at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning last, was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. J.  J. Rice,  Torrens Street, South Torrensville. Despite his untimely death at the age of 30 years, he did much to enhance the reputation of his highly esteemed family and of a name well  known and honored in this State. To the staff and students of Rostrevor College in the years during which he was a student there, he was first in regard and admiration: and after  his departure from the College his name remained to incite to the highest ideals of Christian youth the students of later years. He was an outstanding athlete, an outstanding scholar, and an exemplary young man. Rostrevor College owed much to the courtesy and help given by his parents in years of difficulties; it owes more to their son whose death was deeply mourned there. At the University of Adelaide the late Dr. Rice graduated with honors in medicine in 1940. At the University he captained both the cricket and football  first teams, and was an all Australia University blue in the latter game. After a brief period as house surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital he joined the R.A.A.F., and as medical  officer at an operational zone in the North he was to experience conditions that led to a period of illness. He was transferred to the Adelaide area about two years ago, and after his recent discharge from the Air Force he accepted an invitation to join the staff of the Children's Hospital. In all the posts that he held no demand of work or consideration for others went unanswered. To his esteemed parents and his sister deep sympathy in their bereavement is here respectfully extended. The large cortege at the funeral, which took  place to the Catholic por tion in Centennial Park Cemetery, was notable tribute to the deceased.
Chaplain the Rev. Fr. V. Barry recited the last prayers at the grave side: he was assisted by the Rev. Fr. T. Horgan and the Rev. Bro. C. A. Mogg (Principal), Rev. Bro. S. Gurr and  Rev. Bro. Stephens, of Rostrevor College.
May he rest in peace eternal.