Papers of Sir William Allen Daley (1887-1968)

Scope and Content

Papers of William Allen Daley, 1903-1913, comprise awards and photographs relating to Daley's medical career and achievements. The collection contains medals awarded to Daley, relating to his medical achievements, notably the George Holt Medal, Physiology, University of Liverpool, 1907 (Daley/01/03); photographs and illustrations, including images of staff within various institutions, notably including a photograph of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with a small party including Daley, 1940s (Daley/02/05) and certificates, acknowledging his professional qualifications and additional achievements including his Fellowship of Royal Society of Health, 1926 (Daley/03/06).

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir William Allen Daley was born in Bootle, Lancashire, on 19 February 1887; educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby; graduated BSc in Chemistry, London, 1906; MB, ChB with first-class honours, Liverpool, 1909; MB, BS, London, 1910, with distinction in medicine. He obtained the Cambridge diploma in public health in 1911 with distinction, and his London MD degree in 1912.

Daley held resident posts in Liverpool and became resident medical officer at the London Fever Hospital in 1911. After his father's death, 1911, he was recalled to Bootle to succeed him as Medical Officer of Health, later holding similar appointments in Blackburn, 1920-1925 and Hull, 1925-1929. Daley was appointed to serve on a departmental committee of the Ministry of Health on the recruitment and training of midwives, 1928; appointed as Principal Medical Officer of the London County Council, 1929; became deputy to Frederick Menzies, 1938; succeeded Menzies as County Medical Officer, 1939 and was elected FRCP, 1939.

The National Health Service Act of 1946 led to a period of great activity during which the London County Council hospitals were transferred to the newly formed regional hospital boards, and simultaneously steps were taken to absorb the personal health services previously in the care of the metropolitan boroughs which made up the county council area, Daley's skill aided this advancement. Daley retired in 1952, however, he transferred his personal files to his home and continued to serve on the many committees to which he had been appointed in a personal capacity. After his retirement he visited Australia on behalf of the Nuffield Foundation, lecturing on the British National Health Service and lectured in North America, where for several months he was Associate Health Officer of the city of Baltimore.

Daley was president of the Central Council for Health Education; chairman of the Chadwick trustees; President of the National Association for Maternal and Child Welfare and vice-chairman of the Academic Board of the Royal Postgraduate Hospital at Hammersmith in West London. Daley's work was recognised with a knighthood in 1944 and with an honorary physicianship to George VI, 1947. Daley died on 21 February 1969.

Publications include The development of the hospital services with particular reference to the municipal hospital system of London William Allen Daley and Reginald Coleman, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (35, 1941-2, 45-56) and Population Education in Public Health William Allen Daley and Hester Viney, 1927.


Arranged into three series: medals, photographs and illustrations and certificates.

Access Information

This collection is open for consultation. Please contact the Archivist to arrange an appointment. All researchers must complete and sign a user registration form which signifies their agreement to abide by the archive rules. All researchers are required to provide proof of identity bearing your signature (for example, a passport or debit card) when registering. Please see website for further information at

Acquisition Information


Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available online.

Archivist's Note

Sources: Who was who 1961-1970 (A & C Black, London, 1972) and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Compiled by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Related Material

The Wellcome Library holds papers relating to William Allen Daley (PP/AWD).