In January, 1961, when his daughters were teenagers John separated from his wife, Marion, and she sued him for a divorce, which was finalised in July, 1961. Thereafter he lived in Jedburgh Avenue, Hurlingham until 2nd December, 1961 when he was involved in a motor accident when returning from a friend's wedding he had attended in Durban and, most unfortunately, sustained serious injuries. These included the loss of a kidney, damage to his legs and five fractures of the skull.
After lengthy hospitalisation, during which his close friendship with Ian Leach stood him in very good stead, as Ian was in close daily attendance at the hospital ensuring that John received exceptional attention from the nursing staff and eventually he went over to London with Ian to see if he could obtain further medical assistance there.
My father wrote to me in July saying, "The doctor in London whom I saw said it would be far better for John not to work in the same office I occupy, to live in his own flat and to drive a car once more. He was given a driving test on cinema screens, which he passed. He will have to have a specially fitted car and learn to drive again and take out a new driving licence. Unfortunately the doctor said 'that there is permanent damage to the brain and that he can never be what he was before. Fortunately he had an outstanding brain before the accident and his intelligence will still be higher be higher than that of 60% of the population.' [My father added, with his usual sense of humour to the fore ... 'presumably of Britain!!'] The trip to London did John a world of good. After having had the medical attention, he joined one of the organised tours to the Continent, visiting Holland, Germany and Scandinavia. I was very anxious to see how he would get on away from everybody he knew and having to think for himself. He greatly enjoyed the trip."
After further time convalescing at 'Graystones' with his father and stepmother, Alice,during which time Alice was particularly good and helpful to him, it was arranged that he take over the house belonging to Alice's daughter, Leonie, thus enabling her to purchase a larger or more suitable home for herself and family. So, he moved into 128, Tenth Street, Parkmore, Sandton on 26th.October, 1966. He lived there on his own for seven months.
My father wrote "John seems very happy in the new set-up. He can have friends round whenever he likes and very frequently if he is not having anybody to dinner, he comes round to us. This saves him having to prepare a dinner for one. He manages his car very well and has no difficulty coming into town in it". A few months later my father wrote to tell me "we intend putting John in charge of the computer so as to make additional use of this installation...".
It was apparent that only certain parts of his brain had been damaged in the accident but that did not include the section that deals with figures and mathematical subjects, he could still add up a column of figures faster than anyone else I knew, except my mother.