David Geoffrey Dalgliesh, naval surgeon was born on 22 March 1922 to Kenneth and Ellen Dalgliesh. With three sisters and a younger brother he grew up in Sidcup, Kent, in semi-rural surroundings of gardens, fields and woodlands where he developed a lasting love of natural history. Aged nine he learnt woodwork, a manual skill that re-emerged later in his gift for surgery. He attended Merchant Taylor's School until 1939, taking the 1st MB examination in preparation for entering medical school. When World War II began in September 1939 he was of military age but compulsorily reserved as a future doctor. After a gap year as agricultural labourer, fire watcher and founder member of the Local Defence Volunteers (forerunner of the Home Guard), David joined St Thomas's Hospital Medical School in 1940. His early months of study coincided with the London blitz, in which every city hospital was fully involved and severely tested. Later he served in emergency dressing stations, set up in southern England to treat casualties returning from the Normandy invasion. On graduating MRCS and LRCP in 1946, David had gained an unusual but invaluable practical training in emergency medicine.
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