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IN tribute to Edward Arthur Gibson (VR, December 3, 2011, vol 169, p 612), Edith Borland, David Kennett, Ian Keymer, Geoffrey Pritchard, Tony Stevens and Nigel Wood, all ex-staff members of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), now the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, write: Edward Gibson, previously director of the MAFF Norwich Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIC) from 1958 to 1985, died at home in Norwich on November 8, 2011. He was born in Chingford, Essex, on March 6, 1923, the son of William, a senior Post Office engineer, and Louisa-Kate Gibson. He was educated at the Sir George Monoux School, Walthamstow.
At the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Edward had started his veterinary training at Reading University. The Royal Veterinary College had been evacuated there because it was considered to be a safer locality than Camden Town. Being a veterinary student automatically exempted him from National Service. Edward, however, felt guilty, so he joined the Local Defence Volunteers (later to become the Home Guard).
After qualifying on July 4, 1947, he did locum work in general practice. As he was such a private person, his family knew little of his whereabouts, except that he worked in many parts of the country. When in London, he became especially disenchanted with private practice and decided to make a career in the government service. By 1954 he was a research officer in the MAFF Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) at New Haw, near Weybridge. He married Helena Kress on February 24, 1954, and soon after was transferred to the Field Service of MAFF in Bridgend, Glamorgan, where he stayed for a year. He was then transferred to Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, to manage a small laboratory and to study Salmonella infections of cattle. He was given two areas …