John Raymond Danson

Military man; average adjuster; collector; patron of the University of Liverpool

John Raymond (Ray) Danson read law at Trinity College, the University of Oxford, and after the First World War he joined the family firm F. C. Danson & Co. Ray served with some distinction in both World Wars, earning the M.C. in the 1st and as Lieutenant Colonel, commanding the Fourth Battalion Cheshire Regiment at Dunkirk in the 2nd.

Ray continued his father's patronage of the School of Tropical Medicine, becoming its Chairman and giving some £20,000 towards a new clinic. In 1953 he retired, aged 60 and also retreated to Dry Close, Grasmere, which his grandfather had built when he retired in 1880. The old family house, 'Rosewarne', in Bidston Road, Birkenhead had since been sold. Ray devoted himself mainly to his world-renowned collection of Egyptian and Sudanese stamps. Numerous letters have been preserved relating to this activity. Like his father J.R. Danson showed an interest in archaeology and supported Petrie’s later Palestinian excavations. A notice about his will of over £560,000 was published in the 'Westmoorland Gazette', 18 February 1977.

The Danson family archives and collection of antiquities was donated to National Museums Liverpool by the Executors of the Estate of Lieutenant Colonel J.R. Danson, in 1977 (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/archive/collections/maritime-family-archives.aspx). The family’s library which contained a fine collection of early illustrated books was left to Trinity College, Oxford (with 450 volumes of erotica placed on deposit in the Bodleian) and is now kept in the college’s Danson Library (http://www.trinity.ox.ac.uk/library/danson/).
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Previous owner
  • Nationality
    British: English
  • Born
    1893
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England
  • Died
    1976-06-18
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Cumbria: Grasmere
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
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