Dr David Barton Warden OAM M.B., B.S., F.R.A.C.G.P., Dip. R.C.O.G.

Featured Image: Dr David Warden @ at ‘Tinagroo’ 26/04/1975

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/erudite-medical-trifecta/’

Email from Joanne Shipway/Warden 04/03/2024:

Dear Bill,
Not sure how quickly the bush telegraph is but dad passed away peacefully yesterday morning (Sunday 3rd. March 2024). He was in hospital for 2 weeks….in for an X-ray and then the slippery slope of hospitals but he was ready to go for a long time now. Mike was with him when he died and we had all been there nearly every waking over the two weeks.
A legend lost and 3 weeks behind the other legend GP of Scone. An end of an era.
There isn’t going to be funeral as per dad’s wishes.
Hope you’re keeping well.
Much love until we catch up again.
Jo xx

David Warden served in the Royal Australian Navy after leaving Shore School, Sydney in 1944. He became a leading Radar Mechanic before going to sea on HMAS HOBART and was sent to Japan with the Allied Occupational Forces. After demobilisation David Warden entered Sydney University in 1947. He graduated in Medicine (M.B., B.S.,) in 1953 after representing St. Paul’s College in Rowing, Athletics and Rugby Football gaining a Sydney University Blue in Rugby Football. He then went to Scone for 20 years as a GP, Consultant Physician and visiting Hospital Medical Officer with a special interest in obstetrics and surgery.  He obtained a Fellowship in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and Diploma in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Dip.RCOG) the latter necessitating a period of specialist training in the UK.  Dr David Warden introduced the administration of Epidural Anaesthetics in the Scott Memorial Hospital in Scone the same year the procedure was started at St. George V Hospital, Sydney. He also pioneered laparoscopy surgery in the Upper Hunter. The grandmothers of Scone still consider Dr David Warden to be the pre-eminent obstetrician and gynaecologist! He is widely revered as a legend in Scone to this day. Dr David Warden was the inaugural President of Scone Rugby Union Club (1966 – 1969). He was also extremely active in the community and served on myriad local committees.

It was during his time in Scone he travelled to Ethiopia enabling Dr Reg Hamlin and Dr Catherine Hamlin to take leave from their frantically busy Fistula Hospital (‘Hospital by the River’) in Addis Ababa.  He went as a volunteer and took time off with leave-without-pay from Scone Medical Practice to visit and work there on four separate occasions. He was spiritually enriched by the experience and developed a profound love of Ethiopia, its people, religion and culture. Having visited the Hospital in 2012 I can personally confirm Dr Catherine Hamlin’s deep appreciation of the outstanding work performed by Dr David Warden. He also volunteered to go to Cambodian Refugee Camps after the Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot) campaigns.

There he performed field surgery amputations of legs and hands from land mine injuries. There were no X-rays, pathology or blood transfusions available. This experience also left an indelible mark upon him.

David Warden also received a letter from the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia in 1959 saying they had referred him to the Meritorious Awards Committee of the Association for David’s bravery during a beach drowning at Bilgola that same year and thanked him for his selfless action and disregard of personal safety in effecting what has been described as a very hazardous rescue under adverse conditions.  They apologised for not being able to give him an award due to lack of evidence and accounts but recommended him for his bravery.  They said it took great courage to do what he did during the rescue.

Dr David Warden also spent a sabbatical period in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) to absorb and learn the medical practices of differing cultures and religions

In recent years Dr David Warden has selflessly devoted most of his professional time to work as a locum throughout NSW and Australia. He does this to enable his colleagues in Regional, Rural and Remote locations (perhaps single person practices) to take leave and enjoy a holiday. These include:

Wellington (NSW)

Christchurch (NZ)

Gulgong (NSW)

Quirindi (NSW)

Kangaroo Island (SA)

Dunedoo (NSW

Coolah (NSW)

Coonamble (NSW)

Warren (NSW)

Coober Pedy (SA)

Nyngan (NSW)

Norfolk Island

Dubbo (NSW)

Barraba (NSW)

Baradine (NSW)

Nambucca Heads (NSW)

Broken Hill (NSW) Royal Flying Doctor Service

He has volunteered for service many times in some of these locations. Now well advanced into his 87th year Dr David Warden is still as determined as ever to provide this invaluable service despite having contracted medical conditions inimical to himself while ‘on active duty’. He has doggedly pursued this pathway with almost flamboyant disregard for his own personal wellbeing and general good health?

I wish to respectfully and unreservedly recommend Dr David Warden for an Order of Australia Award based on his altruism, selfless compassion and magnanimous lifelong devotion to his family, profession and community as physician, counsellor, consultant, volunteer, mentor, advocate, surgeon and true friend. This dedicated service far exceeding the conventionally accepted call of duty has extended well over 60 years embracing local, regional, State, National and International communities and humanity. As far as I am aware Dr David Warden has yet to receive official recognition having been somewhat peripatetic during his working life. He typically generously nominated ex-Scone medical colleague Dr David ‘Toby’ Barton for an OAM in 2001. There existed a possibly media generated myth that Toby’s grandfather Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia and Banjo Paterson were related? It is even recorded in Wikipedia for Banjo. According to Dr David Barton Warden this is indubitably not the case. There were at least two notable Barton immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century: one branch from Scotland and the other from Ireland. The former established the political dynasty while the latter were antecedents of Banjo. Dr David Barton Warden is a product of the latter. Scone’s eminent physicians Toby and David were not in fact familiar relations.