It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of David Wallis on Sunday 7th August aged 89. David made a tremendous contribution to the surveying community in so many different ways over many years. Through his company, Survey and General Instrument Co. Ltd, he supplied survey equipment to the military, construction industry and academia. David was a President of the Photogrammetric Society, a Fellow of the British Cartographic Society, and an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He was also a member of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and was the Deputy Director/Treasurer of the Permanent Institution for the History of Surveying and Measurement.
However, it was through our DSA that many will remember him. He was a member and later Secretary and Chairman of the Field Survey Association. It was under David’s guidance that the FSA changed its name to Defence Surveyors’ Associoation to reflect the wider Defence purview, future direction and activities, and to attract new members. In 2009 he was awarded the DSA's Ernest Ramus Prize for service to military surveying. Undoubtedly, we owe David our gratitude for his great generosity in time, effort and money over many years to the DSA.
Our President, Roy Wood, remembers him as being particularly enterprising, evident when at the British Army Equipment Exhibition one year he found himself shaking hands with Gen Kalashnikov - yes, the rifle man - who David had invited from Moscow for some commercial opportunity.
As Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers from 1995 to 1996 David was able to bring together his enthusiasm for surveying, education and the military by establishing an affiliation with the Corps of Royal Engineers through the award of prizes for the best officer and soldier on courses at the Royal School of Military Survey.
Details of the funeral arrangements are not yet available.