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IN further tribute to Raymond Leslie Butcher (VR, February 28, 2015, vol 176, pp 233-234) Simon Orr, Des Thompson and John Bower write, on behalf of the BSAVA's officers and past-presidents: Ray Butcher was born in South Ockendon, Essex, on February 2, 1952, the younger son of Leslie and Eileen Butcher. He went to Dilkes County Primary School and on to Palmer's School for Boys in Grays, Essex.
He took his A-levels a year early and was too young to take up his scholarship place at Cambridge. He therefore went to work for a year in a bookies and a pub before going up to Cambridge.
Ray managed to combine the amazing achievements that were to follow with an ever-present tendency to mischief and a sense of humour, which was sometimes irreverent but always hilarious. Nevertheless, the library at his future practice had many textbooks that had an inscription in the frontispiece from Cambridge veterinary school saying ‘Awarded to Ray Butcher for achieving highest marks in . . .’ surgery, medicine, anatomy, etc.
He met Moira in his fourth year, at a disco at the grad soc, where he jumped in from the balcony to the dance floor – possibly to avoid paying the 10 p entrance fee. They married a few weeks after graduating in 1976.
Ray spent most of his career at the Wylie Veterinary Centre in Upminster, Essex, where he saw its evolution from a traditional mixed practice to a large companion animal hospital (RCVS Tier 3). He joined the practice in 1979, and their daughter, Gillian, was born in September of …