Lives of the fellows

David Eryl Meredith

b.21 April 1917 d.17 March 2001
OBE(1980) MB BS Lond (1939) MRCS LRCP (1939) MD(1948) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1970)

David Meredith was the first consultant appointed by the Welsh Hospital Board to the Clwyd and Deeside Hospital Management Committee, centred on Rhyl. The eldest son of a well known tannery owner in mid Wales, he went from Dolgellau Grammar School to Guy's Hospital Medical School, where he qualified in 1939. After house posts at the West London and Royal Northern Hospitals he served in the RAFVR medical branch from 1941 to 1946, attaining the rank of squadron leader.

On demobilization he returned to work as a house physician at the Royal Northern Hospital, then Cardiff Royal Infirmary. After two years in the professorial unit of the Welsh National School of Medicine he became senior registrar at Hallam Hospital West Bromwich.

On appointment in Rhyl, where he was to stay for 32 years, David initially had responsibility for medical patients of all ages in four hospitals. He gathered round him a group of first rate consultants which included Ivor Lewis and Edward Parry-Jones, very well known names in surgery and obstetrics respectively. Thanks to his considerable clinical acumen and meticulous attention to detail David was successful in gaining the confidence of the GPs of Denbigh and Flintshire in a locally based consultant service; well demonstrated by the need for the addition of a further physician to the staff (Geoffrey Lloyd) in 1953.

During the 60s he put his energies into post-graduate education. As post-graduate organiser David was justifiably proud of the first purpose built post-graduate centre in Wales, opened at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl in 1967, to which he was able to attract many well known speakers. Re-organisation of the hospital services in the 70s found him heavily involved in management. In addition he served the College as regional adviser (N. Wales) and as one of the advisers' representatives on Council.

He was instrumental in providing student placements in medicine and surgery in Rhyl for Manchester Medical School. These were highly regarded, and resulted in a steady flow of preregistration house officers from Manchester. The last two years of his service saw him working in the new DGH - Glan Clwyd Hospital/Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, promised almost since the day of his arrival, when the consultant body numbered over 70. He was appointed OBE in 1980 for services to medicine in Wales; he had been a JP since 1964.

In the early part of his retirement David served as one of two medical ombudsmen for Wales, for which his patience, readiness to listen and fluency in Welsh served the post well. He was honoured by being appointed High Sheriff for Gwynedd. David enjoyed fly fishing, which his retirement facilitated. He was an enthusiastic bridge player and learned Spanish. He was an avid traveller, and having successfully come through fracturing his femur in France in 1998 died suddenly in Spain of a cerebral haemorrhage. He was a bachelor.

F K Wright

(Volume XI, page 394)

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