David was born in Pontypridd, qualified in medicine in 1971 from St Bartholomew’s Hospital and then specialised in anaesthesia, passing his FFARCS (now FRCA) in 1975. He was appointed to the staff at Barts in 1978 but took a sabbatical year in Perth, Western Australia in 1979 returning to London to take up his consultant post. He had already started to collect equipment to create an anaesthesia museum at Barts while a registrar; this interest has remained throughout his career. He was a founder member of the History of Anaesthesia Society and was their first Editor from 1986-1993 and was their President in 2006-8. He was the Society of Apothecaries Lecturer in the History of Medicine to St Bartholomew’s Hospital 1994-2008; Chairman of the Barts Archives Committee 1988-2006; Curator of the Charles King Collection 1982-1995 and then Honorary Archivist for the Association of Anaesthetists 1994-2001. He became Wood Library Museum Laureate in the History of Anaesthesia in 2008.
He has been involved in anaesthesia organisations both nationally, in Europe and the world. Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI), Secretary and President of the Confederation of European National Societies of Anaesthesia (CENSA) and then Secretary and President of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiology (WFSA). He retired from clinical anaesthesia in 2008 and took on the two four-year positions with WFSA from that time.
An inveterate traveller, David has spent a lot of time on every continent except Antarctica and has travelled to lecture, teach and holiday in equal measure!