Dally, Ann Gwendolen, and Dally, Peter John

  • Dally, Ann Gwendolen (1926-2007)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Patient and other records of their joint private practice, plus Dr Ann Dally's correspondence with General Medical Council and writings relating to drug addiction.



Physical description

180 boxes


Not all the papers were in any discernable order therefore the arrangement given was imposed. Section A comprises the very few personal items given by Ann. Section B deals with the various interests Ann had and includes interviews with Dr. Sylvia Payne & Dr. Cicely Williams; there is information on various drug organisations that Ann was involved with through her treatment of drug addicts, and information on the DHSS working party on drug misuse. Section C deals with correspondence Ann had with various individuals over the years. Section D deals with Ann and Peter's private practice. The majority of this section is closed due to the sensitive information it contains. Section E comprises material from the various legal cases that Dally was involved in. The 2 major cases involved Dally and the GMC in 1983 and 1987. Much of the papers detailing the 1987 case are closed again due to the sensitive nature of the material. Section F comprises material that Ann wrote - not all of it was published. There is also material produced by others. Section G comprises the very few pieces pertaining to Peter Dally.

Acquisition note

Presented by Ann Dally, May 1994 and January 2001.

Biographical note

Ann Gwendolen Dally was born in Marylebone, London in 1926. Her father, Claud Mullins, was one of the founders of the Family Planning Association and of the Marriage Guidance Council. Ann won an Open Exhibition in Modern History to Somerville College, Oxford, and graduated in 1946. She then completed a year's service at the War Office in Germany and Austria. She began her medical training at St. Thomas's Hospital in 1947, where she was one of the first three women to be offered a place for the first year course. She was a Nicholas Research Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Weir Research Fellow of the Wandsworth Hospital Group. She qualified M.B., B.S. in 1953. She also gained a diploma in Obstetrics and experience in general practice.

She married Peter Dally in 1950 and went on to have six children. In 1969 Ann and Peter divorced and she married Philip Egerton in 1979.

She worked in several areas of medicine, including posts as a research registrar in general medicine, a medical journalist, radio psychiatrist in a phone in programme for Radio London for nearly 10 years, an editor of a paediatric journal (Maternal and Child Care) and in general practice (Family Doctor). She also wrote a regular column for the Sunday Telegraph and Evening News. Despite never training formally in psychiatry, in partnership with her ex-husband, Dr. Peter Dally, Ann practiced psychiatry in private practice. Peter and Ann were in practice together from 1968 until 1994. She was an associate of The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Ann's main area of interest was families, mothers, babies and adolescents. It was this experience of mothers and children that led to an understanding of many psychiatric problems. Whilst sharing a private psychiatric practice with Peter, she became interested in drug addicts and their problems. She officially stopped treating drug addicts in September 1987.

In 1987 Ann was charged by the GMC of irresponsible prescribing, which was found not to be proved. The GMC found Ann guilty of professional misconduct and directed that for a period of 14 months, her registration be conditional on compliance with the requirement that she should not prescribe or possess controlled drugs. The GMC restored her full, unconditional registration at the end of the 14 month conditional period. An appeal was made to the Privy Council on the grounds that if the general charge was held not to be proven, this must imply that her treatment of patients was not culpable. The Privy Council dismissed the appeal against the GMC.

Ann Dally wrote many books including An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Medicine; A Doctor's Story; The Morbid Streak: Destructive Aspects of the Personality; Mothers - Their Power and Influence; and Women Under The Knife: A History of Surgery.

Dally was latterly a research fellow at The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine. She died on 24 March 2007.

Peter was born in 1923 and retired from private practice in 1994. Peter undertook his medical training at St. Thomas' Hospital too. He retired from the Westminster Hospital in 1988 at the age of 65 but continued with the private practice until the house in Devonshire Place was sold in 1994. He died in 2005.

For further details see A Doctor's Story by Ann Dally (London: Macmillan, 1990).

Terms of use

This collection has been partially catalogued and the catalogued part is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact collections@wellcomecollection.org for more details.

Accruals note

The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:

1 box of additional papers was received in 2007 (acc. 1521), consisting of:

Drafts and other published and unpublished writings by Ann Dally, including: 'The difference between men and women. A study in sex and sex differences'; biographical and other writings on William Sargant; 'The personal construction of medical knowledge: a neglected aspect of history'; 'Drug addicts in general and private practice'; 'Drug addicts: a practical classification'; 'Stable opioid addicts: An old concept in a new setting'

Volume with diary entries by Ann Dally covering Jun 1958-Jul 1959, mainly family matters

Article on Claud Mullins (AD's father) 'Marriage saving and the early days of conciliation - the role of Claud Mullins' by Stephen Cretney (Child and Family Law Quarterly Vol 10, No 2 1998)

Miscellaneous correspondence re Ann Dally's writings, 1990s

Copies of published articles re GMC case against Ann Dally, 1987

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Accession number

  • 516
  • 893
  • 1521