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Biographical entry Badcock, John Henry (1864 - 1953)

MRCS 13 February 1890; FRCS by election 14 April 1932; LRCP 1890; LDS 10 November 1887; FDS by election, foundation 1947.

7 March 1864
23 September 1953
Dental surgeon


Born 7 March 1864, eldest of the ten children of John Badcock, a draper, and Mary Frampton his wife, he was educated at University College School, and was then apprenticed to Percy May MRCS, a dental surgeon. He went on to the London School of Dentistry (now the Royal Dental Hospital), qualified in Dental Surgery in 1887, and after studies at Charing Cross Hospital qualified in medicine in 1890. He practised as a dental surgeon at 140 Harley Street for forty-six years (1890-1936).

Badcock was interested equally in education and in professional affairs. He was appointed assistant dental surgeon at Guy's in 1891, lecturer on operative dentistry in 1893, and dental surgeon in 1894, resigning these posts in 1904. He was also professor of dental surgery at the Royal Army Medical College. During the war of 1914-18 he served at the 1st London General Hospital, working particularly at the repair of jaw injuries of German prisoners of war. He was a notable teacher, and being inventive introduced several advances into current practice, for instance the screw named after him and the use of cohesive gold-filling.

He joined the British Dental Association in 1893, served as Treasurer 1919-24 and was President in 1925; subsequently he acted as chairman of the benevolent fund. He was a foundation member of the British Society for the Study of Orthodontics in 1908, and its first President. He was President of the Section of Odontology in the Royal Society of Medicine in 1917, and of the second International Orthodontic Congress in 1931. At the British Medical Association he was a member of the Ministry of Health committee during 1919-21 and of the Insurance Acts Royal Commission special committee during 1924-27. At the College he was elected a Fellow in 1932 and a foundation Fellow in Dental Surgery in 1947.

Badcock was a man of keen and artistic intellect and formed a notable collection of Chinese and Japanese art. He also enjoyed outdoor life, especially walking, climbing, and boating. He explored the waterways of Holland, Belgium, and France by canoe and yacht, and had sailed in an auxiliary-engined cruiser all about the Thames estuary and the east and south coasts of England. He learned to ski in Norway before the sport became popular and was among the earliest Englishmen who introduced ski-ing into Switzerland. Quiet, gentle, and helpful, he was a great influence for good both personally and in raising the professional status of dentists. After his retirement he lived for many years at Prior's Close, Walsham-le-Willows, Suffolk. He died on 23 September 1953 in a nursing home at Malvern, aged 89. He had married Isabel Edgell in 1904, and was survived by their only daughter.

The treatment of the patient. Brit dent J 1904, 25, 738.
The degree of asepsis necessary in dental surgery and the most practical means of attaining it. Ibid 1906, 27, 433.
Importance of the bite in the study and treatment of malpositions of teeth. Ibid p 1109.
Sepsis and prosthesis. Ibid 1911, 32, 1069.
Necessity for the correction of malpositions of the teeth as a preventive of dental caries. Brit med J 1910, 2, 771.
Dietetic and other causes of irregularities of teeth. Trans Nat Food Reform Soc 1920.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 8 October 1953, p 118; Brit med J 1953, 2, 943 by JBP with appreciation by N J Ainsworth FDS; Lancet 1953, 2, 889; Brit dent J 1953, 95, 169 and p 196 by Lilian Lindsay with portrait; information from his sister Miss C Eva Badcock].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England