Cover image for
Resource Name:
Resource Type:
External Resource
Asset Name:
E003823 - Bazett, Henry Cuthbert (1885 - 1950)
Bazett, Henry Cuthbert (1885 - 1950)
Royal College of Surgeons of England
RCS: E003823
London : Royal College of Surgeons of England
Publication Date:
Obituary for Bazett, Henry Cuthbert (1885 - 1950), Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Plarr's Lives of the Fellows
Full Name:
Bazett, Henry Cuthbert
Date of Birth:
25 June 1885
Place of Birth:
Gravesend, Kent
Date of Death:
12 July 1950
CBE 1946

OBE 1919

MC 1917

MRCS 9 February 1911

FRCS 8 June 1911

LRCP 1911

BA Oxford 1908

MA BM BCh 1910

DM 1920

Hon DSc Western Ontario 1945
Born at Gravesend, Kent, on 25 June 1885, the third child and only son of Henry Bazett, MRCS and his wife Eliza Ann Cruickshank. He was educated at Dover College and at Wadham College, Oxford. He took his clinical training at St Thomas's Hospital, where he served as demonstrator of physiology in 1910, and in the following year as house surgeon, casualty officer, and clinical assistant in the throat and ear department. This year, 1911, he took the Fellowship five months after passing the Conjoint board. He now won the Radcliffe travelling Fellowship for 1912-15, which took him to Harvard for a year. But on the outbreak of war in August 1914 he immediately joined the RAMC and served in France till the end of the war in November 1918. In 1912 he had been elected a Fellow of Magdalen till 1920, and was appointed demonstrator of pathology at Oxford for 1913-15. He was utterly fearless but never reckless in war or in peace, and was endowed with complete moral and physical courage. During the retreat from Mons in autumn 1914 he served with a field ambulance, and thereafter was a battalion medical officer in front of Ypres. He was three times mentioned in despatches, won the Military Cross, and was created an OBE. He returned to Oxford as Christopher Welch lecturer in clinical physiology 1919-21, and was already interested in aviation problems and high-altitude physiology, a subject which only came fully forward twenty years later in the second world war. He took the Oxford doctorate in 1920. Bazett became professor of physiology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1921, and held the chair till his death. Although he thus made his home in America for the second half of his life, he retained his British citizenship and loyalty, while entering fully into the circle of American academic medicine. His main interest was in the application of physiological research to clinical problems. He perfected an exact technique for studying temperature changes in circulating blood, and showed the importance of the venal comites in the pre-cooling of the arterial blood by the returning venous blood. When war began again he was given leave of absence from Philadelphia to devote himself to work for Canada and Britain. After the tragic death of Sir Frederick Banting, FRCS, in 1941, Bazett was visiting professor of medical research at the University of Toronto 1941-43 in charge of aviation research. He served on the clothing sub-committee of the American National Research Council's committee on aviation medicine 1943-45, was consultant to the quartermaster-general of the American Army 1943-44, and in 1943 worked in England with the Canadian staff of the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. During these years he was an extra member of the Medical Research Council, working also for the Admiralty, and being sent on a commission of investigation to India in 1944. He was promoted CBE in 1946. After the war he returned to his chair at Philadelphia, and in 1950 was president-elect of the American Physiological Society. Bazett died on board the liner *Queen Mary*, bound for Southampton, on 12 July 1950, aged 65, and was buried at Holywell Cemetery, Oxford, after service at St Peter's in the East, Oxford. He married in 1917 Dorothy Rufford Livesey, who survived him with their son and daughter. They lived at 629 Haydock Lane, Haverford, Pennsylvania. Bazett was a remarkable man not only by his intellectual attainments, but by his sincere and delightful character. He had an enthusiasm for the young and for new ideas, and was a stimulating talker teeming with fresh ideas; witty, wise, and courageous. Bazett undertook many heroic experiments upon himself; he was a skilled painter and model-maker; enjoyed swimming and horse-riding, car-driving and travel. Publications: Shock and haemorrhage, in Barling and Morison's *Manual of war surgery*, 1919. Circulation, in Macleod's *Physiology in modern medicine*, 8th edition, 1937.
*The Times*, 13 July 1950, p 8d

*Lancet*, 1950, 2, 309, with appreciations by A C B and O G E

*Brit med J*. 1950, 2, 220, with eulogy by J G G

Information from Mrs Dorothy Bazett
Copyright (c) The Royal College of Surgeons of England
Plarr's Lives of the Fellows
Asset Path:
Root/Lives of the Fellows/E003000-E003999/E003800-E003899
Media Type: