David Winn Hoodless, MD

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  • 1887-1956.[1]
  • Born in June of 1887 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire (Ancestry Pro).
  • The 1901 census records hims as the 13-year-old son of James S. Hoodless and Mary Ann Hoodless, Walkeringham, Notts, Yorkshire.[2]
  • 15 Dec 1912: Hoodless, age 25, passed through Ellis Island en route to Suva with George Tyrell McCaw, a surveyor, aged 42 (ellisisland.org).
  • Founding Tutor, later Principal of Central Medical School / Fiji School of Medicine.
  • Examined the bones found on Nikumaroro for the WPHC.
  • Was originally supposed to retire 31 May 1942.
  • 20 Aug 1943: VWTMcG wants an Assistant Principal. It is a near-constant theme in any of the letters he writes about Hoodless' retirement. He wanted to remedy the "defect of having one man responsible for most of the teaching and all of the administration and discipline." Hoped that DWH would retire in 1944.
  • VWTMcG was celebrated in Time Magazine for having "complete charge of the school" since 1939. There wasn't a syllable about Hoodless in the piece!
  • Stayed on as acting director until 1 Feb 47.
  • Succeeded by A. S. Frater, MD, who had been a prisoner during the war, and who died unexpectedly. It is conceivable that the bones may have been dealt with when Hoodless turned his office over to Frater or when the vacancy left by Frater's death was filled by an interim Principal.
  • Went to Tarawa to give a doctor relief, November 1948.
  • 1953: Second trip to the Gilberts.
  • Died 15 April 1955 or 1956 in England.[3] His wife had problems proving that Hoodless was a Fiji citizen. He is buried in Britain.
  • Hilda Hoodless died Dec 31, 1956.
  • The 1999 team interviewed Ratu Mara, one of Hoodless' star pupils.
  • Hoodless' daughter, Margaret Guthrie, has been asked about the box of bones. She does not know anything about them. They were not in her father's estate. She says she is familiar with his papers and that there are no references in them, either.
  • "Intelligent and good" (Ron Gatty).


Author: Guthrie, Margaret W.
Title: Misi Utu: Dr. D.W. Hoodless and the development of medical education in the South Pacific by Margaret W. Guthrie.
Published: Suva, Fiji; Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific in association with the South Pacific Social Sciences Association, 1979.


  1. The TIGHAR volunteer who accessed Ancestry says that the date of death is 1956, although by his calculations Q2, 1955, might be more accurate.
  2. UK censuses were usually taken in March or April.
  3. Misi Utu does not give the year explicitly.