David Cundall


I am a retired community paediatrician from Leeds. My work was primarily with disabled children and their families, but I was also involved in safeguarding, ambulatory paediatrics and teaching. I was one of the founders of the MSc in Child Health in Leeds. I initiated and developed the children’s health services at St George’s Centre in South Leeds. I worked at a rural hospital in Kenya 1981-1984 where I started my long-term research interest in tuberculosis in children.

I retired early, in 2011, to volunteer as coordinator of the Nigeria Health Care Project, a faith-based charity. I am also chair of trustees of Thrive Leeds, a local youth and community charity. My wife and I live in Chapel Allerton. We have four children, eight grandchildren, an allotment and an intermittent enthusiasm for retro-fitting our home to be as energy-efficient as possible.

I am a newcomer to historical research but believe that my background as a community paediatrician will bring fresh insights to my chosen subject.

Research interests

Most of my publications in the medical literature relate to clinical aspects of tuberculosis in children.

My interest in The Hollies, a mansion in Weetwood adjacent to Meanwood Park, Leeds started in the late 1980s. I have now found the time to explore this in depth. From 1925 to about 1960, with a break for the second world war, the Hollies was both a sanatorium school for children with tuberculosis and a ‘preventorium’ where children thought to be at risk of tuberculosis were sent for fresh air, a good diet, sunlight and an education.

The research will explore the role of The Hollies, and similar ‘open-air schools’ in the inter-war period when specifc antibiotics were not available, and after the second world war when such institutions were phased out. I am particularly interested in the emergence of the diagnosis of ‘pre-tuberculous’ children, for which The Hollies was opened. This category of children was contested from the outset and yet was one of the main catalysts for the open-air school movement in Britain.


  • BA (Medical Sciences) Cambridge 1974
  • MB,BS, Newcastle 1977
  • MRCP London 1980
  • FRCPCH 1996
  • DTM&H Liverpool 2010