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Biographical entry Harland, David Henry Cave (1916 - 1994)

MRCS 1941; FRCS 1949; MB BS London 1951.

17 January 1916
Heathfield, Sussex
General surgeon


David Harland was born in Heathfield, Sussex on 17 January 1916. His father, Percy Cave Harland, was on the staff of Barclay's Bank and his mother was Emma, née Colenutt. He attended Roborough School, Eastbourne, until he went to St Bartholomew's Hospital where he won the Hallett Prize in 1948. He held junior posts at the Wingfield Morris Orthopaedic Hospital, where he was influenced by L H Plewes, Sir Herbert Seddon and G R Girdlestone, and he was senior surgical registrar at Bart's and resident surgical officer at King George's Hospital, Ilford.

He served in the RAMC in India and Burma from 1942 to 1947 with the rank of captain, in No 3 Mobile Neurosurgical Unit as graded surgeon. He was appointed surgeon to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital in 1956 and gained a reputation for meticulous surgery, respect for tradition and good manners.

He founded the first industrial rehabilitation unit in Britain, was fundraiser for the medical centre at the hospital, President of the Herts and Beds Ileostomy Society, chairman of the Luton 100 Club and president of the friends of a church in Luton. In 1976 he was appointed High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.

He died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm and was survived by his wife, Norah, his daughter Jane, a physiotherapist, and two grandsons, Thomas and Joseph.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1994 309 1227].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England