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Biographical entry Rayne, John (1932 - 1995)

FRCS by election 1991; LDSRCS 1955; FDSRCS 1960; DO 1962; DPhil Oxon 1969; MA 1973.

18 May 1932
21 October 1995
Dental surgeon


John Rayne was born on 18 May 1932, the son of a dentist. He was educated at University College School, London, before graduating from the Royal Dental Hospital School of Dental Surgery in 1955 and, following house officer posts and military service in the RAF Dental Branch, embarked on a career in the hospital service. His training posts were in the Oxford Region, first at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and then in the United Oxford Hospitals. During his training he was engaged in research in the Department of Human Anatomy of Oxford University and attained the D Phil (Oxon), a proper doctorate, not an assumed courtesy title!

His first consultant appointment was to Mount Vernon, Slough and Ashford Hospitals in 1968 but he returned to Oxford, a university city with which he had a great affinity, on the retirement of his former chief, Desmond Hayton-Williams. There in the new John Radcliffe Hospital, together with his fellow consultants, he built up a Unit which has given excellent service to the community and general practitioners.

In 1978 he was elected to the Board of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and served for fourteen years, being Vice-Dean in 1985. He represented the Faculty on the Council of the College and, uniquely for a dental surgeon, was elected as a Vice-President of the College from 1991 to 1992, an honour of which he was justifiably proud. He was also awarded the FRCS by election. In 1980 he spent a period as Visiting Professor of Oral Surgery in the University of Singapore. He served his specialty association, the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, well, with productive periods as both honorary secretary, and as President from 1993 to 1994.

In 1985 he was appointed as a civilian consultant to the RAF. John was an enthusiast for postgraduate education both as a teacher and organiser at local, regional and national levels. He had been for many years the director of Oxford Regional Postgraduate Dental Education and a member of the Conference of Postgraduate Deans/Directors. He was a tall man with a commanding presence which he used to great advantage in the numerous committees and working parties that he was asked to chair, including a spell as Chairman of the Secretary of State's Standing Dental Advisory Committee.

He had been an examiner for the Fellowship of the Faculty of Dental Surgery and several UK and overseas universities. There were many nervous candidates who, being initially fearful of this large man with a haughty countenance, were soon put at ease as his facial expression relaxed and the reassuring twinkle became apparent in his eyes.

During the few years before his untimely death, having dropped some clinical sessions, he took up the appointment as Director of the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education, based at the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons to which he was so devoted. Many overseas colleagues seeking training in this country were given sound advice in a kindly manner and remain grateful for his help.

The recognition of John's talents by his colleagues led to his election to the General Dental Council on two occasions, in 1984 and 1991, and he became Chairman of the Council's Postgraduate Education Committee. His interest in and support for the British Dental Association was constant throughout his career. He was Chairman of the Council of the former Berks, Bucks and Oxon Branch for many years and President from 1979 to 1980. He was elected Vice-President of the successor South Mercia Branch in 1993. Nationally he served on the Representative Board, the Central Committee for Hospital Dental Services, as a Scientific Adviser to the Journal and as President in 1989.

Rowing was his sport. In his younger days he had been a successful oarsman in representative crews for the University of London, Thames Rowing Club and the Royal Air Force. Later he coached crews of various Oxford Colleges and Reading University. He had a great love of the traditional social side of rowing and many friends enjoyed his generous hospitality at Henley Royal Regatta, where he would be immaculately dressed for the Stewards' Enclosure with straw boater bearing the University of London purple and cerise Leander Club socks. Berks, Bucks and Oxon Branch colleagues will remember John and his wife Norma, having traversed the regatta course, arriving by boat at the Leander Club steps for his magnificent Branch President's Summer Ball.

He died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday 21 October 1995 at the early age of 63 years, having been unconscious since an accidental fall whilst gardening on 23 July. He was survived by his wife Norma, whom he had married in 1962, daughter Philippa and son Tim.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BDJ 1995 179 441, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England