Born in November 1899 the son of D. Mardy Davies, minister (Presb.), Pontycymer, and Esther his wife. He was brought up in the Garw valley and was educated at Bridgend grammar school and the University College, Cardiff. Practical chemical pathology at Middlesex Hospital, London, owed a great deal to him after his appointment as pathologist there in 1927. He also made a great impression as medical registrar of the hospital before becoming a member of the staff of the Royal Free Hospital in 1930 where he did clinical work for 30 years and at St. John and St. Elizabeth hospital for 35 years (1930-65). He excelled as a teacher and was Bradshaw lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians. With Lionel Whitby, Graham Hodgson, Lord Dawson and others he did valuable research work on the use of Felton's serum in the treatment of pneumonia. His article on ‘Gastric secretions of old age’ which he published in conjunction with Lloyd James is considered a classic. He published several medical books, including a standard work on pneumonia and books on peptic ulcers and anaemia. He was a Fellow of the Royal Medical Society. In 1938 he became physician to the royal family. He was physician to King George VI and later to Queen Elizabeth and he continued to be physician to the Duke of Windsor, being one of his personal friends. He was also very friendly with well-known physicians such as Lord Dawson and Lord Horder. He was Lord Beaverbrook's personal physician and his medical adviser from the period when he was in the Ministry of Supply during World War II. In 1951 he received a knighthood. As a strict nonconformist he refused to join the national health service even though Aneurin Bevan was one of his closest friends. He read widely in English and Welsh literature and maintained close contact with Welsh life, being one of the original members of the Pantyfedwen Trust which was formed in 1957. He was an incomparable story-teller and conversationalist and spoke Welsh at every opportunity. He married Vera, daughter of J. Percy Clarkson, and they had two daughters. He died 18 May 1966 in his home in Wimpole Street, London.
Published date: 2001
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