David was educated at Royal High School, Edinburgh and Edinburgh University, graduating M.B., C.M. in 1905. He had also accomplished a distinguished athlete career at Edinburgh University, winning a blue for golf and captaining the team, and all before he was 21. He was then for a time resident house surgeon to Professor Chiene at Edinburgh Infirmary, and bacteriologist at the Banchory Sanatorium. In 1908 he was offered a locum tenancy in Cachar, India, on which he became medical officer for the tea gardens in the Moran district, Assam. When there he made a special study of tropical diseases, and it was his intention to return there after the war. He married in Calcutta in 1914. In March 1916, he returned home to join the R.A.M.C. and entered the war in France on 6th November the same year. He was posted for duty to serve with the 9th Cavalry Field Ambulance on 25th January 1917, but was transferred the same day as Medical Officer i/c 19th Hussars. David was the younger son of the late Dr Angus Fletcher Crole and Alice Crole of Leven, Fifeshire; and the husband of Constance Maud Crole, [youngest daughter of the late Rev. E W Ashfield, Rector of Fen Dittion, Cambridge] of Corner Cottage, Borough Green, Kent.