A Draycott resident of nearly 30 years and active in both the local Church and the Parish Council, Dr Richard Dingley OBE, KStJ is at the centre of the community. Although few people know about his fascinating past.
Fresh from medical school in the 50’s he joined the RAF. Stationed in Singapore, he acted as a Parachuting Doctor, dropped into the Malayan jungle to support the Special Operations team on the ground. His life passion has always been working in remote places across the world, treating eye conditions and supporting the blind. Wherever he travelled his young family came too. Even driving up terrifying mountain roads in rustic vehicles, adapted as eye clinics, to remote places in Borneo. With his wife Sylvia they set up a group to climb Mount Kinabalu. All the climbers were blind, but with support, they made it to the top. A climb of 13,435 ft leaving the sighted support team exhausted and way behind.
Living in a house with no windows, snakes and monkeys were regular visitors to the family home in North Borneo. Sharing his memories with Tiggi, the stories keep on coming. However, at its heart is a story of compassion and bravery.
Awarded an MBE for his charitable work and the honour of becoming a Knight of St John, Dr Dingley’s family arranged a very special Birthday surprise this year just in front of the Draycott Memorial Hall which led to the amusing disturbance of an exercise class nearby!