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Biographical entry Davies, David Ronald (1910 - 1994)

MRCS 1934; FRCS 1937; MB BS London 1934; MS 1938; LRCP 1934.

11 May 1910
Clydach, Swansea
8 September 1994
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


David Ronald Davies, always 'DR' to his friends, was born on 11 May 1910 in Clydach, Swansea, and remained readily identifiable as a Welshman throughout a long surgical career in London, followed by retirement to Exmoor. After schooling at the Ystalyfera County School, which inevitably gave him an enthusiasm for rugby, he entered University College Hospital Medical School, from which he graduated in 1934. His talents were immediately appreciated, and after resident posts and passing the FRCS in 1937 he was appointed assistant to the surgical unit then directed by Wilfred Trotter, who had inspired so many young surgeons.

At the outbreak of war he was taken on by the Emergency Medical Service as an assistant surgeon at University College Hospital and at the Hampstead General but he joined the RAMC in 1941 and served as lieutenant colonel, first in the United Kingdom and then in India. After demobilisation he was appointed to the staff of the Harrow Hospital and of the Ministry of Pensions Hospital at Roehampton, but it was to UCH that he was to devote his career as a surgeon, teacher and administrator. He distinguished himself in all these roles and they absorbed all his enthusiasm, so that he found no reason to play any significant part in any wider surgical forum. Much of his work was urological, though he never abandoned general surgery. He became particularly expert in the surgery of the parathyroid glands, working with the research biochemist Charles Dent on the problems of hyperparathyroidism with renal calculus disease. He became a most influential member of the Board of Governors of the hospital and Chairman for many years of its medical committee at a time when new hospital buildings were being planned.

He retired in 1978 to Withypool on Exmoor, and took little further part in medical business. In 1988 he suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. He died on 8 September 1994, survived by his wife Christine, née Thomson, whom he had married in 1940, and his three sons, Timothy, Evan and Jeremy.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 310 733].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England