David Dorward

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University administrator

Born: 10 April, 1931, in Dundee

Died: 24 December, 2003, in St Andrews, aged 72

DAVID Dorward graduated MA from the University of St Andrews, with Honours in English and Philosophy, and an LLB, for which he studied at Queens College, Dundee. But, after a short time as a solicitor in Perth, he returned to his old university where he joined the administrative staff in 1959 - and stayed for 33 years. He became the deputy secretary and registrar in 1980, and secretary and registrar in 1989, before retiring in 1991.

In his book Scottish Surnames, it is said "he enjoys being an administrator among scholars and occasionally aspires to being a scholar among administrators". Dorward was a lifelong scholar and one of the old school of administrators, fully respecting those he served and, in turn, greatly admired and respected by university staff.

He was a great wordsmith, and had a beautiful speaking voice, a great wit, and a kind-hearted sense of humour. A renaissance man, he had a love and a thorough knowledge of other languages, including German, French, Gaelic and his native Scots tongue.

He was a meticulous scholar and researcher and contributed considerably to people’s knowledge of the placenames and surnames in Scotland. His first two books on these subjects, first published in 1979, can still be found in reprinted, expanded versions in bookshops and visitor centres.

After his retirement, when he had more time for research in those parts of Scotland which were the home of his ancestors, he published Dundee, Names People and Places and The Glens of Angus: Names, Places and People. At the time of his death, his last book, on the Sidlaw Hills, was completed and ready for publication.

Dorward was an insatiable reader. He had a profound knowledge of literature through the ages, and an extraordinary ability to recall and quote from much of it. Music, too, was very important to him, and he was a skilled pianist. Golf was another of his great passions, and it took a great deal to stop him having his weekly round. His effective, if idiosyncratic, swing was reminiscent of his days as a hockey player. His practical and intuitive skills as an angler were accompanied by endless patience.

The large garden at his home was created by him from scratch, and he laboured long and hard in it with great enjoyment, providing a place of sanctuary, peace and beauty for himself, his family and visitors. He was proficient in the game of croquet, and loved playing with others on his croquet lawn.

He was also a member and elder of Hope Park Church in St Andrews for 44 years.

All the activities he enjoyed the most involved people, whether it be family, friends, work colleagues or strangers he met during his researches as an author. He revelled in discussion, humour and the interaction of minds. He will be greatly missed throughout his native land and abroad.

He is survived by his wife, Joy, two sons and two grandsons.

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