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Biographical entry Knights, Laurence Edgar Davison (1907 - 1986)

MRCS 1931; FRCS 1947; MB,BS London 1931; LRCP 1931.

4 April 1907
18 January 1986
General practitioner and General surgeon


Laurence Edgar Davison was born in London on 4 April 1907, the son of Edgar Knights, a master tailor, and Katherine, née Davison. His early education was at Cheltonia College and later at Dulwich College before entering Middlesex Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1931. During house appointments at the Middlesex Hospital he came under the influence of Sir Alfred Webb-Johnson who encouraged him to pursue a career in surgery. He later became resident medical officer at Sutton and Cheam Hospital, joining a practice in Cheam until he was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1940, serving as a surgical specialist in India with the rank of Major.

After demobilisation he passed the FRCS and joined a practice in Sherborne in 1947 and also served as a surgeon to the Yeatman Hospital, Sherborne. At the time of the introduction of the National Health Service he had to discontinue general practice in order to be appointed consultant surgeon to the West Dorset Hospital Group and the South Somerset clinical area, but the greater part of his work continued to be done at Yeatman Hospital. He spent a few months in 1966 working in a mission hospital in Sierra Leone, but apart from this served the Yeatman Hospital continuously until his retirement in 1971. Apart from his professional activities he was also an enthusiastic supporter of the Friends of the Hospital.

He married Lynette in 1933 and there was one son of the marriage, David, who is a general practitioner in Plymouth. His first wife died in 1960 and four years later he married Diana, by whom he had a daughter, Naomi, and a son, Simeon. His outside interests were horticulture and ecology as well as keeping bees. He even designed a new type of hive, and was instrumental in reviving the local beekeepers' association and setting up an annual honey fair. After retirement he pursued his interest in gardening. He died on 18 January 1986 aged 78, survived by his second wife, his children and grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1986, 246, 61].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England