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Biographical entry Dingley, Allen Roy (1892 - 1979)

MRCS 1917; FRCS 1922; LRCP 1917.

28 October 1892
22 December 1979
ENT surgeon


Allen Dingley, the son and grandson of doctors, was born in London on 28 October 1892. He was educated at Highgate School and then the Leys School, Cambridge, before entering St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College. He qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1917. Shortly after his first resident job he joined the RAMC and was posted to Mesopotamia where he gained valuable general experience in the 2nd Indian General Hospital, Basra. After two and a half years there he returned to Bart's as house surgeon to Sir Charles Gordon-Watson. After passing the Final FRCS in 1922 he became clinical assistant to the ENT department at Bart's. Shortly afterwards he was appointed honorary surgeon to the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, a post which he much enjoyed and filled with distinction for 34 years.

Living in Cheam, Surrey, he built up a substantial practice in that area, and in 1929 he was appointed ENT surgeon to the Sutton and Cheam Hospital. He also did regular work at Reigate Hospital. On the outbreak of the second world war he continued with these and his London appointments, whilst also joining the Emergency Medical Service to work at Botley's Park Hospital, Chertsey, where he had sole charge of the ENT department and fulfilled his many commitments under great difficulties.

After the war he returned to his former hospital appointments which he continued until his retirement from the NHS in 1957. Thereafter he continued in private consulting practice for a further ten years. He was notable as a good clinician, and a man of integrity with a quiet and unassuming manner. He had a natural conservatism, but was a good and skilful operator. He had a strong antipathy to the nationalisation of medicine and was one of a group of Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons who, prior to the NHS, called a special meeting which was held on 28 April, 1948, and attended by several hundred Fellows. The NHS Act was due to be implemented less than three months later and a number of grave anxieties and reservations about that Act were expressed by many leading surgeons present. Notwithstanding his own feelings and reservations, Dingley continued to work tirelessly and conscientiously at his hospitals after the appointed day.

Dingley never married and he was a sociable man whose hobbies were golf, photography, walking and travel which he much enjoyed during his many years of retirement. He died on 22 December, 1979, in his 87th year. One brother was formerly a surgeon at Leamington and he is survived by a nephew Anthony G Dingley, FRCS, who is a surgeon at Southend-on-Sea.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1979, 1, 544].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library