Obituary: Dr Marian Davies

TRIBUTES have been paid to a dog lover and academic who left almost £1.3 million to animal charities in her will.Dr Marian Elizabeth Davies, who worked as a bacteriologist and trained the country’s vets for more than 30 years at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, gifted the cash legacy to ten good causes following her death aged 90.

Her estate was valued at £1,335,791.

After instructing that about £70,000 should go to family and friends, Dr Davies, who never married, said the remainder of the money should be shared among charities, including Guide Dogs for the Blind, the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home, the Dogs Trust, the International League for Protection of Horses and the PDSA.

The WWF, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Blue Cross, the National Trust for Scotland and the Royal Star and Garter Home for former military personnel will also benefit from Dr Davies’ generosity.

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Ann Thomson, 75, a relative, said: “I am not surprised Betty left her money to these charities, because animals were always very close to her heart. It’s a huge amount of money, and I’m a little surprised she had so much but it’s fantastic.

“She had never married or had children. I think she was a saver and probably inherited money from her parents.

“She loved King Charles spaniels and would take in stray dogs from local animal homes. I used to go to Edinburgh to visit her and she was always very jovial and kind.”

Dr Davies’ estate included her £235,000 flat in Edinburgh, but it was a portfolio of stocks and shares valued at £1m, that contributed most to her bequest. She died in July.

Dr Davies’ was educated at St Hilary’s School and later at Edinburgh Ladies’ College.

Having studied bacteriology at Edinburgh University, and then attended British Postgraduate Medical School in London, she was appointed scientific officer at the Canine Research Station of the Animal Health Trust at Kennett, in Suffolk. In 1957, Dr Davies returned to Edinburgh and two years later took up a lectureship in bacteriology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, where she stayed until she retired in 1982.

The charities that have been left donations have paid tribute to Dr Davies’ kindness.

Linda Henley, Guide Dogs legacy manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to Dr Davies for this gift. Without gifts in wills, two out of three guide dogs would not exist.

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“Her generosity will help us reach more blind and partially sighted people and give them the freedom, mobility and independence they deserve.”

Clarissa Baldwin, the chief executive of Dogs Trust, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Dr Marian Davies with this wonderfully kind gift.

“It will help to care for the 16,000 rescue dogs which pass through our centres each year, including Dogs Trust Glasgow and Dogs Trust West Calder.”