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Biographical entry Haldin-Davis, Haldinstein David (1881 - 1949)

MRCS 9 November 1905; FRCS 10 December 1908; BA Oxford 1903; MB BCh 1905; DM 1925; LRCP 1905; MRCP 1908; FRCP 1931.

9 May 1881
2 February 1949


Born 9 May 1881, the eldest child of Richard Abraham Davis, merchant, and his wife, a daughter of Philip Haldinstein of Norwich. He was educated at Charterhouse and at Balliol College, Oxford, of which he was a scholar, and took first class honours in physiology. He was president of the University Junior Science Club. He had his clinical training at St Bartholomew's, intending to be a surgeon. He held various house appointments, and was for a time an assistant at the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. Under the influence of H S Adamson he became interested in skin diseases, and was appointed chief assistant in the skin department at St Bartholomew's. He was then appointed to the staff of the dermatological department at the Royal Free Hospital, and devoted himself particularly to the Blackfriars Hospital for Diseases of the Skin. He was also visiting dermatologist to the Children's Hospital, Paddington Green. Haldin-Davis was a pioneer of the x-ray treatment of ringworm, and for many years conducted a successful clinic under the Willesden Borough Council.

During the first world war he served in the RAMC in Palestine, and on demobilization was appointed dermatologist to the Ministry of Pensions. Subsequently he was a medical referee under the Home Office, and from 1948 under the newly created Ministry of National Insurance. Haldin-Davis was secretary of the dermatological section at the British Medical Association's annual meeting in 1922 and a vice-president in 1927 and 1929. He was president of the dermatological section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1937-39. He had no aptitude for research, but was a skilled clinician and lecturer, and an acute critic in demand as a reviewer. He practised at 52 Harley Street, and as he took an interest in civic affairs, particularly in housing and town planning, and was a good man of business he was elected a Borough Councillor of St Marylebone.

After his retirement he lived at Greens End, Forest Row, Sussex, and served on the local hospital committees at East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells. Haldin-Davis married in 1924 Lily, widow of Frank Samuel. He died on 2 February 1949, aged 67, at his home in the country, survived by his wife and step-daughter. He was a popular man of ready wit and generous hospitality, familiarly known as "Hal", and was a member of the Johnsonian Club.

Skin diseases in general practice. Oxford University Press, 1913; 3rd edition, 1937.
Modern skin therapy. London: Cape, 1930. He gives here detailed descriptions of technique, and records his method of x-ray treatment for tinea tonsurans.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1949, 1, 288; Brit med J. 1949, 1, 326, and 1949, 2, 765, will; information from his brother, Philip W Davis; The Times, 4 July 1949, will].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England