Diamond Allan Ballantyne was born in New Guinea of New Zealand parentage. His father, Andrew Ballantyne, was a clergyman and his mother, May, née Jenness, was the daughter of a watchmaker and jeweller. His early education was at Eastern Hutt, Lower Hutt, and he went on to Wellington College and the University of Otago. His clinical studies were pursued at Dunedin Hospital.
Immediately after qualification he held house appointments at the Napier Hospital, New Zealand, and with the advent of the second world war he enlisted in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1940, where he served until 1945. In 1941 he was captured in Crete, on two separate occasions, being classified as British POW 23918. He was twice mentioned in despatches.
After the war he came to the UK and spent a year in London as a house physician at the Hammersmith Hospital and at the Brompton. He returned to New Zealand in 1948 and was appointed visiting physician at the Hastings and District Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital, where he served until his retirement.
Ballantyne had a firm social commitment; in 1959 he became brigade surgeon to the Hastings divison of St John’s Ambulance Brigade, he was officer in charge of the medical unit of the Hastings Civil Defence Organization in 1961, and a member of the council of Hastings Marriage Guidance in 1963. He was also a member of council of the New Zealand branch of the British Medical Association.
He married Sybil Joyce, née Clinick, the daughter of a farmer, in 1939. There were no children of the marriage.
His leisure pursuits included trout fishing and farming; he was a commercial asparagus grower. He also had a love of music and enjoyed playing the piano.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme