In 1935 Denys Danby, acquired the Elizabeth Street veterinary practice and continued to call is ‘Sewell & Cousens’, the names of the previous owners. The year before, Danby had married Doris Dickens who was Charles Dickens’ great-grand-daughter, an event covered by newspapers in the UK and abroad. This picture is of a press clipping from Muncie, Indiana.
Danby was best known within the veterinary profession for designing a practical anaesthetic mask for dogs that was used by vets for over 30 years. The 1953 edition of the surgery textbook Hobday’s Surgical Diseases of the Dog and Cat says that the ‘anaesthetic mask evolved by Denys Danby is particularly efficient’.
After Edward VIII went into exile in 1938, Danby provided veterinary care for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s Corgi ‘Jane’, who gave birth to ‘Crackers’, the present queen’s first Corgi. (At the end of Crackers life in 1953 he visited the dog daily at Clarence House.)
In 1942, many working dogs were needed to support the British Army. Captain Denys Danby took charge of the Army dog training school in Ruislip and only intermittently saw dogs at Elizabeth Street over the next three years. By 1944, when he was Chief Veterinary Surgeon at the War Dog Training School, Greyhound Racing Association kennels, Potter Bar he was calling the Elizabeth Street business ‘Sewell & Cousens and Denys Danby’.
After the war Danby returned to full time work at Elizabeth Street. He continued as the Royal Family’s London vet visiting Marlborough House attending Queen Mary’s dog Bob. He retired to the Isle of Wight in 1958.