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D. G. Rollo

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IN tribute to David Gordon Rollo (VR, January 12, 2013, vol 172, p 51), Peter Jackson writes: David Rollo was born in Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, of Scottish parents. A lifelong love of Scotland took him north of the border, where he began his national service at Fort George, near Inverness, with the Cameron Highlanders, but ill health caused him to be invalided out.

In October 1955 he joined a class of 44 young men and four young ladies at the Royal (Dick) in Edinburgh to begin his veterinary studies. As a student he was hardworking and serious, but blessed with common sense and a wry sense of humour. While in Edinburgh, he learned to play the bagpipes and, when possible, he went out to the Pentland Hills to practice his piping skills.

After qualifying in 1960, David commenced work at Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where he had seen practice as a student. He moved on after six months and, after doing locum work for a while, he moved to Aberdeenshire where he contracted jaundice before moving south again. David didn't like the English traffic and missed the wide, open spaces of Scotland and soon headed north once more. He worked for a while in Thurso and then moved to Rogart in Sutherland where he married for the first time.

In 1975, David moved south to Hawick in the Borders, before moving to Berwick-on-Tweed in 1978, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. Initially, David worked with a partner, but then became a single-handed practitioner working in a very mixed practice for the next 26 years. His lifelong interest in wildlife was crystallised in 1991, when a chemical spillage in the River Tweed caused problems in a large number of swans. Prompt action by David and a group of volunteers avoided a disaster. The Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust was formed in 1992, with David as a founder member. His skill in the treatment and care of wildlife attracted cases from both north and south of the border. He frequently gave talks to interested members of the public and illustrated them with his own high-quality photographs.

In the New Year's Honours of 1997 David was awarded the MBE for services to wildlife in Northumberland. He was delighted to receive his award from Her Majesty the Queen. He retired from practice in 2006, but continued to work every day supervising the care of wildlife.

In recent years, David's health deteriorated and he was unable to drive. His second wife Kay drove him to and from the clinic where he worked until the time of his death. David's death was a serious blow to the Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust, but with the help of some 25 volunteers and 150 members it has continued to rescue and care for wildlife.

His funeral took place on December 11, 2012, at the Melrose Crematorium and was attended by a large number of mourners. A lone piper played a number of David's favourite laments.

Our sincere sympathy goes to his wife Kay and to all those who helped and supported him in his work with wildlife. He will be greatly missed.

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