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Biographical entry Dawson, David Andrew (1921 - 2001)

MRCS 1945; FRCS 1958; MB BS London 1946; LRCP 1945

21 July 1921
Pinner, Middlesex
12 January 2001
ENT surgeon and Pathologist


David Dawson was a consultant surgeon at Plymouth Hospital. He was born on 21 July 1921 in Pinner, Middlesex. His father was John Alexander Dawson CBE, a civil engineer. His mother, Margaret Cruikshank, was the daughter of a medical practitioner. David was their third child and second son. His elder brother, Michael, was a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. David was educated at Northwood Preparatory School, Edinburgh House Preparatory School at Lee-on-Solent, Merchant Taylors' School and St Bartholomew's. He qualified MRCS LRCP in 1945 and passed the MB BS in 1946.

Following qualification, he worked as a house surgeon and house physician at St Bartholomew's and, after service in the Royal Air Force from 1946 to 1948, decided to enter pathology as his chosen specialty. He worked as resident pathologist, having been a demonstrator in the department at St Bartholomew's, but eventually came to the conclusion that he wanted more patient contact and decided to change to otolaryngology. He obtained training posts at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, where he passed the Fellowship examination in 1958. After working for F C W Capps and S E Birdsall, he went to Dundee Royal Infirmary as senior registrar, where he worked with Alan Gibb. He then moved to the Liverpool United Hospitals as senior registrar, and from this post was appointed consultant surgeon at Plymouth Hospital in 1963, where he remained until he retired in 1985. Latterly, he was appointed a civil consultant to the Royal Navy and advised them from 1978 until his retirement.

David Dawson was a delightful man and an excellent colleague. Tall and quiet, with a very good dry sense of humour, he was self-effacing and this concealed a well-read and lively mind. He had a wide range of interests, both in the fields of medicine and life. He published one paper on secretory nerve tumours, a subject that had interested him from his period in the pathology department.

He was a good painter in oils and active member of South Devon Decorative and Fine Arts Society, a very keen gardener, an accomplished skier and a regular golfer. He married Elizabeth Garnham, a nurse who had trained at St Bartholomew's, in 1965. They had no children. For the last five years of his life he suffered from recurrent cerebral thromboses that ultimately confined him to a nursing home. He died on 12 January 2001.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England