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Biographical entry Davis, Edward David Darelan (1880 - 1976)

MRCS 1903; FRCS 1912; LDSRCS 1903; LRCP 1903.

11 August 1880
Cardiff, Wales
20 February 1976
ENT surgeon


Edward David Darelan Davis was born at St Mellons, Cardiff, on 11 August 1880. His father was an iron master and he started his clinical career in 1900 as a student in the wards of Charing Cross Hospital, having completed the first examinations in medicine and dentistry at University College, Cardiff. He qualified in both medicine and dentistry in 1903. He had already come under the influence of Herbert Waterhouse, to whom he became house surgeon, and Christopher, later Viscount, Addison, then lecturer in anatomy, with whom he worked as demonstrator. He decided then to devote himself to ENT surgery, which was just emerging as a new and exciting speciality and was appointed in 1912 to the senior surgical staff at Charing Cross. A year in France in 1918 gave him experience in brain surgery, to which Waterhouse had introduced him. He was one of the younger members of the generation of ENT surgeons, all on friendly terms with one another, who during the years between the wars confirmed the status of the speciality. He served in various capacities on the staffs of the Royal Dental Hospital; the Throat Hospital, Golden Square; the Children's Hospital, Great Ormond Street; Mount Vernon Hospital; and Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank. He took his turn as member of Council and as President of the Otological and Laryngological Sections of the Royal Society of Medicine. He gave the Semon Lecture in 1947. During the second world war L G Brown and he kept the ENT department going in the Charing Cross Hospital, at that time situated in the Strand.

He contributed many papers to the British medical journal, Lancet and Journal of laryngology on carcinoma of the nose, mechanism of the cardiac end of the oesophagus, leontiasis ossea and Paget's osteitis.

After retiring in 1946 from the active staff of Charing Cross he pursued his anatomical interests for a few more years as curator of the Ferens Institute at the Middlesex Hospital. He continued on the council of the Medical Defence Union, for which he also served for a while as treasurer, and sat on the governing body of the Royal Dental Hospital. He went on contributing to learned journals into his seventies and attending professional meetings into his nineties. He read the British medical journal with critical interest until a week or two before he died. His keen interest in the affairs of Charing Cross Hospital and medical school was sustained over three-quarters of a century. He seems to have won, to an unusual degree, the affection of the students, nurses, and junior colleagues who worked with him. He married Miss Mildred Russell on 1 July 1911 and they had two sons and a daughter. His son Derek is the Professor of Mental Health at Bristol University and an FRCP. In his day he was a keen gardener, played tennis, golf, snooker and enjoyed swimming and skiing. His wife died in 1971 and he died on 20 February 1976, aged 95 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1976, 1, 776].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England