Lives of the fellows

William Radford Dakin

b.1860 d.8 February 1935
MB BS Lond(1882) MD MRCS FRCP(1895)

Radford Dakin, the son of John Dakin, J.P, went up to Owens College, Manchester, from Macclesfield Grammar School, and thence to Guy’s Hospital, where he graduated as M.B, B.S., in 1882. After holding house appointments at Guy’s and the General Lying-In Hospital, he was elected physician to the Royal Hospital for Women and Children in 1885 and obstetric physician to the Great Northern Hospital two years later. He resigned both appointments in 1891 on being made obstetric physician and lecturer on midwifery at St. George’s Hospital. A few years later he returned to the General Lying-In Hospital as one of its physicians. He examined in midwifery for Oxford University and the Conjoint Board and in 1897 produced a Handbook of Midwifery which, although inconclusive in its teaching, enjoyed a considerable success for some years. He was president of the Obstetrical Society of London in 1905-06.

Almost from the outset of his career, Dakin’s private practice was substantial. His popularity was mainly due to his skill as a surgeon and his imperturbability in emergencies. But it also owed something to his charm of manner and handsome appearance. Dakin was also a painter of ability, and when, at the age of fifty-two, he had earned all the money that he required, he retired to Moreton-in-the-Marsh to devote himself to his hobby. He emerged from his retirement in the 1914-1918 War to serve as a surgeon with the French army, receiving the Legion of Honour and the Croix de Guerre. Afterwards he settled at Bradford-on-Avon, devoting himself to art, fishing and gardening. He married in 1892 Sylvia, daughter of F. T. Lewis, but had no children. He died in a London nursing home.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1935; B.M.J., 1935]

(Volume IV, page 377)

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