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News > OB News > Lives of Old Breconians: David A Rew

Lives of Old Breconians: David A Rew

David A Rew (SHR 1968-74) shares what a scholarship at Christ College meant to him
1 May 2024
OB News
 David A Rew (SHR 1968-1974). Photo courtesy of D A Rew.
David A Rew (SHR 1968-1974). Photo courtesy of D A Rew.


In advance of Giving Day 2024, Dr David Rew has responded warmly to an invitation to tell his story. His heartfelt words are shared with his kind permission. 

I am delighted to accept the invitation from Martyn Thomas to contribute to the CCB Giving Day communications and I wish the project well.

I joined CCB (Alway House) in 1968 from Coed Glas County Primary School in Llanishen, Cardiff, when my father’s peripatetic corporate managerial career was moving the family regularly around the UK. I was the privileged recipient of a scholarship following the CCB entry exam.

The school continued to support and develop my latent academic potential, and I jumped the “third form” (modern Year 9) to proceed directly to the “O” level stream in 1970.

I studied Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Use of English (under the late Mr Gareth Jones) in the Sixth Form, securing three A levels with higher S levels in Chemistry and Biology in the summer of 1974.

Given that I now had a “year to spare”, I returned to CCB in the autumn of 1974 as Head of School and to sit the University of Cambridge Entrance Exams, from which I secured a place to read Natural Sciences for Medicine at Pembroke College from September 1975 onwards.

With 9 months still in hand, I was accepted for a Short Service Limited Commission with the Army. I proceeded to the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in January 1975 and then on to Regimental Appointments with the British Army of the Rhine until August 1975.

Following three years in Cambridge and three years at Kings College Hospital in South London, I embarked on a wide ranging and successful career with the NHS in General Surgery, ending up as a Consultant Surgeon in Southampton in the late 1990s.

In parallel with my NHS career, I enjoyed 42 years in the Airborne, Territorial and Army Reserve, with operational deployments to the Gulf (1991), Iraq (2003) and Helmand, Afghanistan (2008), for which work I was honoured by my peers in HM the Late Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015.

I also took pride in passing the selection course for the UK Special Forces Reserve in the brutal winter of 1980, for which those School and DoE Award Scheme treks around the Beacons and to the peak of Pen-y-Fan had been excellent preparation!

I have also enjoyed a career in national surgical representative organisations and an international academic career as the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Cancer Surgery (2003 to 2009).

Since 2009, I have served as the Subject Chair for Medicine on the global advisory board to a major European publisher, for both of which appointments Gareth Jones’ Use of English classes were prescient preparation.

My complex and rewarding career has therefore taken me and continues to engage me in many directions. For this, I remain most grateful for the vision and encouragements of the dedicated teaching and pastoral staff of CCB of that era, under the successive headmasterships of Dr John Sharp and Dr John Cook.

It is a pleasure and a privilege now to be able to support the school in its present challenges and in the realisation of its future ambitions through the most gratifying Giving Day process.


If you also have a story to tell, contact Martyn Thomas or Huw Richards

They would be delighted to hear from you in advance of Giving Day and any time afterwards. 



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