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Biographical entry Williams, David James (1852 - 1920)

MRCS April 26th 1877; FRCS Dec 13th 1894.

27 February 1920
General surgeon


Born in a remote Welsh valley, where he spent his boyhood; was educated at Llandovery College, and studied at University College Hospital, London, where he gained medals in anatomy, chemistry, physiology, and midwifery, and as a good histologist acted as Demonstrator of Practical Physiology under Professor Sharpey-Schafer.

Immediately on qualifying he settled in practice at Llanelly, then a growing industrial town. After taking the FRCS he did much surgical work at the Llanelly Hospital. He was one of the first to apply Hugh Owen Thomas's orthopaedic methods. He was a representative of Wales on the Council of the British Medical Association, but opposed the Insurance Act and never worked under it. In 1909, under the quaint title of "Hercules and the Wagoner", in an address as President of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Branch, he held that the profession of medicine should remain independent and work out its own efficiency in the prevention and cure of disease.

He was well read in Welsh and in the English poets, and a very skilful fly-fisher. Failing health obliged him to restrict his practice to consulting work. He practised at Greenfield House, Llanelly, where he died on Feb 27th, 1920, leaving a widow, but no children.

"On the Structure of the Mucous Membrane of the Stomach of Kangaroos" (with EDWARD A SCHAFER), Proc Zool Soc, 1876, p165.
"Three Cases of Abscess of the Lung." - Brit Med Jour, 1904, i, 8.
"Hercules and the Wagoner: an Address." - Ibid, 1909, ii, 189.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England