Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Davies, David Vaughan (1911 - 1969)

MRCS 1935; FRCS 1963; MB BS London 1935; MA Cambridge 1937; DSc London 1961; LRCP 1935.

28 October 1911
16 July 1969


Born on 28 October 1911, second son of Joshua Davies, farmer, and Mary Emma Ryder, of Dolfonddu, Cemmaes, he was educated at Cemmaes Primary School, Montgomeryshire and Towyn County School, where he gained an entrance scholarship to University College, London. There he was awarded a gold medal in physiology and passed the Primary examination for the FRCS in 1932. His clinical training he took at University College Hospital, held the Ferrier scholarship in 1933 and 1934, and qualified with the Conjoint Diploma and the degrees of London University in 1935. After serving as house surgeon at University College Hospital and as a temporary medical officer in the RAF, he joined the Anatomy Department at Cambridge, was granted the degree of MA in 1937 and became a Fellow of St John's College from 1944 to 1948. At Cambridge he worked under Professor H A Harris as a demonstrator and later as lecturer, leaving in 1948 to succeed Professor Appleton at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School. In 1956 he was elected a Fellow of University College, London. For many years a member of the Council of the Anatomical Society, he was its President from 1965 till his death, and he edited the Journal of anatomy between 1960 and 1964. In 1963 he was elected a Fellow of the College, for which he had acted as an Examiner in the Primary Examination and as an Arris and Gale Lecturer in 1945. He also examined for the Universities of London, Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Strathclyde, Khartoum and Melbourne, and for those universities in special relationship with the University of London. In 1966 he spent six months as Visiting Professor in the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Davies took an active part in the affairs of London University, and at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, he was Sub-Dean in 1955 and 1956 and director of the electron-microscopy unit of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council in addition to his duties as Professor of Anatomy. He took a great interest in student welfare both in the University, where he was a member of the committee of halls of residence and chairman of the house committee of Connaught Hall, and at the Hospital, of which he became a governor, and he was a valued member of the Medical School Council and President of the Rugby Club.

He contributed much to anatomical literature, being joint editor with T B Johnston and Francis Davies of the 32nd edition of Gray's Anatomy and sole editor of the 33rd and 34th editions. He was particularly interested in the anatomy and physiology of joints and contributed to the Textbook of rheumatic diseases edited by W S C Copeman.

As a Welsh speaking Welshman "DV" kept a warm affection for his native country. He was for many years a member of the Cymrodorian Society and the London Welsh Association, High Sheriff of Montgomeryshire in 1961 and 1962, and President of the Montgomeryshire Society in 1964 and 1965.

In 1940 he married Ruby Bertha Ernest by whom he had two sons and a daughter. He died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage in St Thomas's Hospital on 16 July 1969, aged 57, and a memorial service was held in the church of St Mary, Lambeth on 11 October 1969.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 19 July 1969; Brit med J 1969, 3, 243, with portrait and appreciation by SJRR].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England