David Stanley Hinchcliff Cannon

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 02 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3107
  1. Rosemary Courtney

When David Stanley Hinchcliff Cannon returned to the UK after 10 years of service at the Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesha, he was amused by the accolade given to him by his patients of having “contributed enormously to the population of Nigeria.”

His work on the effects of malaria on prematurity in pregnancy was published in The BMJ, and his contribution to the work of David Morley, subsequently professor of child health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, on innovating child care in the community saved the lives of thousands of children throughout Nigeria. This system was used in west Africa and, with other work, helped reduce infant mortality from 50% to 12%

David was a son of the Manse, born to the Reverend Arthur and Mrs Jessie Cannon on January 26 1927. His upbringing in the north of England during the depression gave him insight into real poverty. His peers were not allowed to attend school without shoes, and so his father started a campaign to provide shoes for them, thus making David aware of, and concerned about, people less fortunate than himself.

His undying Christian faith developed throughout his teenage life at Kingswood School for the children of Methodist ministers. During the war the school was evacuated to Uppingham, where David understood what it was like to be the underdog when, although sharing …

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