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Biographical entry Hovell, John Herbert (1910 - 1988)

TD; MRCS 1934; FRCS by election 1978; FDSRCS by election 1948; DO 1955; FFDRCSI 1978; LRCP 1934.

19 August 1988
Dental surgeon


John Hovell was born in Wales in 1910. He was educated in Norwich and at the Royal Dental and Charing Cross Hospitals, becoming LDS in 1931 and MRCS, LRCP in 1934. He was appointed senior house surgeon at the Royal Dental Hospital and he had responsibility for dental in-patients at Charing Cross. He later joined a practice in Harley Street, specialising in orthodontics and oral surgery and he became honorary consultant to the Dental Hospital in 1938, lecturing there in orthodontics, dental anatomy and dental surgery. He joined the Royal Army Dental Corps in 1939 and was posted to No 3 Maxillofacial Surgical Unit in India in 1942, where he gained much experience of facial and dental injuries to servicemen who were casualties from South East Asia Command.

In 1946, he rejoined the Royal Dental Hospital and he was appointed assistant dental surgeon to St Thomas's Hospital. With others, he suggested that the special departments of St Thomas's, the Westminster and St George's Hospitals, including dental surgery, plastic surgery, ophthalmic and neurosurgery, should be housed on one site to form a centre for postgraduate study and research, but this idea never came to fruition. He established an orthodontic department at the Royal Dental Hospital, with Professor Clifford Ballard and John Hooper and postgraduate courses were later arranged. He was a founder member of the British Society for the Study of Orthodontics. He became FDSRCS by election in 1948 and he was appointed Hunterian Professor in 1960, Charles Tomes Lecturer in 1964 and Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the College in 1974. He became FRCS by election in 1978. He was President of the British Dental Association in 1967 and a founder member of the Oral Surgery Club and of the British Association of Oral Surgeons.

He died on 19 August 1988 aged 78 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit Dent J 1988, 165, 415].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England