Lives of the fellows

Raymond Daley

b.6 April 1917 d.24 September 1989
MRCS LRCP(1941) MB BChir Cantab(1941) MRCP(1942) MA MD(1946) FRCP(1956)

Raymond Daley was the son of William Allen Daley (later Sir Allen) who became the chief medical officer to London County Council, subsequently the Greater London Council and now abolished. Ray was educated at St Paul’s School and then went up to Clare College Cambridge to read medicine, achieving an upper second degree in the natural sciences tripos. He completed his undergraduate education at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, and succeeded in gaining his membership of the College in the minimum time allowed - one year after qualification. He then held the coveted post of resident assistant physician at St Thomas’ before joining the RAF as a medical specialist. He had a distinguished war career, working with the late Sir Kenneth Robson [Munk's Roll, Vol.VII, p.503] at Halton. He was awarded the RAF’s certificate of good service on demobilization. In 1942 he married Alison Miller, a St Thomas’ physiotherapist, and they had three children - a son and two daughters.

After the war, Raymond was appointed senior registrar to John McMichael, later Sir John FRS (q.v.), at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and was subsequently awarded a Rockefeller fellowship which enabled him to study at Harvard and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He met many distinguished American cardiologists and counted among his friends Richard Gorlin, Richard Byng and Gil Blount.

On his return to Britain, he spent two years as chief assistant at the National Heart Hospital and in 1951, after he was appointed to the cardiac department at St Thomas’, his friend Gorlin joined him there as a research fellow. In 1957 Raymond Daley was invited to deliver the Goulstonian Lecture at the College, entitled ‘The autonomic nervous system in its relation to some forms of heart and lung disease.’ This was a distinct honour for so young a Fellow. It was later published in the British Medical Journal [Vol.II, pp.173-79,249-255]. Other published works included papers on myocardial function and disease, systemic embolism in rheumatic heart disease and polyarteritis nodosa.

His best known writing is his contribution to Progress in clinical medicine, edited by R Daley and H G Miller, London, J & A Churchill, 1948. Designed for practising physicians and postgraduate students, it was an outstanding success and continued through several editions until 1972. He also edited Clinical disorders of the pulmonary circulation, London, Churchill, 1960, with John F Goodwin and Robert E Steiner, and contributed an excellent chapter on the cardiovascular system to The Practice of Medicine, by Sir John (now Lord) Richardson.

Ray had a wide knowledge, a lively intelligence and an enquiring mind. He was an excellent teacher, with a lucid presentation and a total lack of pomposity or self-satisfaction. His talents included a remarkable ability to blend gems from medical literature with his own experience, expertly applying both in his clinical practice. He had a quizzical sense of humour and a well developed sense of the ridiculous, but he laughed with people - never at them. He was intensely self-critical and was never known to boast. Ray Daley was one of the band of young, progressive and enthusiastic cardiac physicians who, under the aegis of McMichael, Sharpey-Schafer [Munk's Roll, Vol.V, p.372], Paul Wood [Munks Roll, Vol.V, p.456], Brock [Munk's Roll, Vol.VII, p.62] and others, were writing cardiological history in the postwar era when cardiological research and knowledge were rapidly expanding. Sadly, the latter years of his life were clouded by illness and personal bereavement - both of which he bore without complaint.

J F Goodwin

[Brit.med.J., 1989,299,1460; Lancet, 335,103]

(Volume IX, page 111)

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