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Biographical entry Daggett, William Ingledew (1900 - 1980)

MRCS 1924; FRCS 1926; MB BCh Cambridge 1925; LRCP 1924.

2 October 1900
26 September 1980
ENT surgeon


William Daggett, the only son of a Yorkshire general practitioner, was born at Boroughbridge on 2 October, 1900. From a preparatory school at Marston Moor he went as an exhibitioner to Sedberg School and then to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. After securing a first class Natural Science Tripos in 1922 he graduated from King's College Hospital in 1924. Apart from his academic excellence, he was also good at games and captained the hospital cricket team as well as playing in the rugby XV. He passed the final FRCS shortly after completing his resident appointments and was only 28 years old when elected to the ENT staff at King's. He quickly established himself there, as well as at Leatherhead Hospital and St Luke's Hospital for the Clergy in the decade before the second world war when he also secured his pilot's licence.

Within a year of the outbreak of war he was enrolled in the RAMC and shortly posted to Malta where he spent some time and wrote an important paper on otitis externa. Following the relief of Malta he moved to South East Asia Command and India where he became consultant in otolaryngology with the rank of Brigadier. After his return home he became head of the ENT department at King's in 1946, and chairman of the group medical committee at the time of nationalisation, a task which he did not welcome as he was so much happier in the clinic and the theatre where his judgement and skill were always of a high order.

Daggett had the enviable reputation in his specialty of treating the individual as a whole. His patients were devoted to him and his trainees valued highly his teaching and guidance. Quietly spoken, relaxed, modest and generous in his recognition of his colleagues' work his opinion was widely sought and appreciated. He was Vice-President of the Section of Otology at the Royal Society of Medicine. His published work was written in fresh and vivid style, though he did not write much. Outside his work his main interest was salmon fishing, though he was a keen skier and visited Switzerland every year until well into his seventies. He had a happy appreciation of wine and food, a passion for oysters and was a generous host as well as an ever appreciative guest. Though he married in 1928, the marriage was dissolved in 1947 and there were no children. His sister survived him at the time of his death on 26 September, 1980, a few days before his 80th birthday.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 3 October 1980; Brit med J 1980, 281, 1149].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England