Neville Augustus Dawes was born in Nigeria, to Jamaican parents and was raised in rural Jamaica. He was educated at Jamaica College and subsequently attended Oxford University, where he earned an M.A. in English.
Upon leaving Oxford in 1953 he came to Calabar where he quickly developed a warm rapport with students and faculty alike. He taught English, Drama and History and was scoutmaster and dormitory master. He is remembered as being very friendly and approachable. His teaching style involved an easy chat with boys in which he would tell vivid stories to illustrate his points.
He ended his stint at Calabar in 1956 and returned to Africa. Many years later he returned to Jamaica and in 1971 he was appointed the executive director of the Institute of Jamaica.
He was a prolific writer. He kept writing up to his death in 1984. He published two novels and a poetry collection, as well as short stories and essays, some of which were broadcast by the BBC.
Neville Dawes is the father of noted writer and university lecturer Kwame Dawes.
COBA acknowledges the contribution of Neville Dawes and celebrates his memory.