I was born in Aberaman in 1953 where my father (Victor) was a grocer and my mother (Norah, née Christmas) was a school teacher. I started at ABGS in Sept 1964 – the first entry into the brand new building at the foot of Cwmdare Hill. The headmaster was Mr Jess Warren and the deputy head Mr Gwilym Williams (Chemistry). There were some characters among the teachers and I remember in particular Mr Gethin Evans (Music), Mr Price “Pike” (Maths), Mr Noel Thomas (English) who later became head, Mr Charlie Morris (Latin) and Mr David D. Davies “Dai cube” (Biology).
I spent 7 happy years at the school and despite favouring sciences, nevertheless I was much involved with the music activities of the school1.
In 1971, I gained a place2 at the then St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, (now amalgamated with Imperial College) from where I graduated in 1976. Having taken up a medical cadetship with the Royal Navy whilst a student, I commenced my career in the Royal Navy in 1977. Initially taking up a short career commission of 5 years, I subsequently ended up completing 38 years!
Following a couple of years in general duties at sea and in a shore establishment, I trained as a general practitioner and served in Hong Kong (twice), London (several times), Portugal, Portsmouth (several times) and Plymouth. I eventually became Adviser in General Practice for the Royal Navy, then Tri-Service Director of General Practice and then Defence Postgraduate Medical Dean. My final appointment was Director, Royal Naval Medical Service from which I retired in 2011. I now work part-time as a Fitness to Practise panellist for the General Medical Council.
I met my wife, Gill, in the Royal Navy and we married in 1981. We have moved around a great deal over the years but have made our home since 1999 in Bideford, North Devon. We have one daughter, Alice, who is a junior doctor living in Cheltenham.
30 November 2015