Friend and colleague Bob (R.W.A) Park has kindly shared his thoughts:
I first got to know David through his periodic visits on behalf of Oxoid Ltd to the Microbiology Department at Reading University. He was a very useful and knowledgeable person to have visit. He seemed to know much of what was going on, not only in the UK but internationally through his attendance at overseas conferences. I quickly came to recognise and appreciate his integrity. He might say something like ‘I think there is someone doing something similar to you. If you like I’ll look in my records and ask if they’d care to give you a ring to see if there is any mutual interest. He would not break confidences so you could talk freely with him, certainly to one’s own benefit from his wide experience. But, really, one can’t consider David for more than a few moments before rejoicing in the memory of his wonderful smile and sense of fun. This and his quiet demeanour led some, even himself, perhaps to underestimate his outstanding value. He, along with Don Whitley, were incredibly helpful when I was Meetings Secretary with the Summer Conference, and for many years he was the, very keen, Society Archivist.
David quickly picked up on the wonderful work of Dr Martin Skirrow of Worcester Royal Infirmary, who discovered the extent and importance of Campylobacter in intestinal disease. This link , between David and Martin, led to Oxoid being a major sponsor of the first International Workshop on Campylobacter Infections which was held at Reading University in 1981 with over 150 participants. This started a series of meetings which still continues.
David contributed to and produced many useful publications for Oxoid, including an excellent series of monographs on specific pathogens.
I think it not inappropriate to say that over the last twenty years David has from time to time had some pretty nasty skeletal health problems. I remember visiting him when he was confined to a hospital bed for over 6 weeks while hips were being treated. I wondered how I would find him. I need not have worried about that. There was that lovely smile and in no time we were joking about aspects of what was really a serious matter. Even recently, until the last few weeks , when he got very tired, that ready smile and sense of fun made him great company in even the most difficult circumstances. He leaves his wife, Anthea, two sons, Jon and Chris, and many dear friends the poorer and sad at his passing.
Bob (R.W.A.) Park