Interview with an Old Scholar David Pugsley (Class of 1955)

What has David been up to after leaving Sidcot in 1955? How did he end up in Adelaide?

This is a current picture of my wife, Sandy, and me framed by the mandarin tree in our garden. This is a current picture of my wife, Sandy, and me framed by the mandarin tree in our garden.

Life Stories
David Pugsley (Class of 1955)

When he was at Sidcot..

I went to Sidcot in 1948, and stayed the full 7 years until 1955. Those were the days of privation, with the country recovering slowly from the tribulations of World War II. The school was small-about 180 pupils- and most children were boarders. There was quite a high proportion from Quaker families. There was a lot of mutual respect and even a pretty healthy tension between the boys and the girls. The latter, at equivalent ages seemed the more mature. The school then was not particularly academic, but there was a healthy focus on the arts and the humanities, and considerable encouragement to undertake independent learning. I doubt that we appreciated enough the beautiful surrounds in which we were living. I obtained enough marks at A level exams to gain a place at Bristol university to study Law, but after doing alternative national service with the Friends Ambulance Unit International Service, which involved quite a bit of time working at low level jobs in public hospitals, l persuaded Bristol to let me change to study Medicine. I felt that I really grew up during those 2 years with FAU, and having an initial worm’s eye view of hospital life proved very valuable to me in later years.

He became a doctor..

Though I felt at times that life as a university student was almost anti-intellectual, Medicine has been kind to me, and challenging too. I trained as a Physician, and, more as a result of circumstance than choice, eventually became a nephrologist with a special interest in the renal disease that is so prevalent in developing countries While training I was privileged to be able to spend 2 very happy years working in Uganda, at a time when a lot of resources were being put into what was once a British protectorate. Both of our children were born there.                                            

And ended up in Adelaide..

I emigrated to Australia to further my career in 1976, and have lived there happily, both professionally and personally, ever since. Now in retirement, people ask me if my wife and I will return to the UK. In the current circumstances that seems more unlikely a move than ever..