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WW1 New Zealand recruits

See an abstract of a recent article in the New Zealand Dental Journal on the Oral Health of New Zealand Service Personnel in WW1​


​World War One Centenary


The new library display for September 2014 - January 2015 is all about dentistry in the First World War.

 Click on the picture to view more about:

  • WW1 Centenary events
  • Dentistry & the BDA in WW1
  • BDJ War Supplement
  • Library resources
  • BDA Museum exhibits


BDA 1914-1918 War Memorial

The Battle of the Somme

Fought from the 1st July to 18th November 1916, the Battle of the Somme led to the wounding or deaths of more than a million men.

On the BDA World War 1 memorial we have the names of four dentists who were killed in action during that period.

All four were qualified dentists in practice before the start of the war. However, none was serving in his professional capacity.

Norris Snell – Capt. East Yorkshire Regiment – killed in action July 14th 1916 aged 41

"Killed in action on July 14, Captain Norris Snell, East Yorkshire Regiment, the beloved husband of Ethel May Snell, of "Redlands," Warrington Road, Ipswich."

Donald B Morrish – 2nd Lt. King’s own light Infantry – killed in action August 18th 1916 aged 25

"We regret to record that another young member of our Association, 2nd Lieutenant Donald Bernard Morrish, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Trench Mortar Officer), has fallen in action. He was killed in France on August 18. Lieutenant D. B. Morrish was the younger son of Mr and Mrs John Morrish of 46, Carson Road, Dulwich, and was 25 years of age. He qualified as L.D.S.Eng. from Guy's Hospital in 1913, and had been in practice at Cambridge. He joined the British Dental Association in 1913. At hospital, Morrish was a quiet, efficient worker; popular among his fellow students and all with whom he came in contact."

John E Wheeler – Capt. Royal Garrison Artillery – killed in action November 10th 1916 aged 29

"We regret to report the death of a young member of the Association, Captain John Eric Wheeler, who was the eldest son of Mr S Wheeler, of Leicester, and was educated at Wyggeston School. He entered as a student at Charing Cross Hospital and the Royal Dental Hospital, and among the distinctions he gained was included the "Woodhouse" Scholarship. He qualified as L.D.S.Eng. in 1908, and joined the Association in 1909. He was a pupil of Mr Walter Harrison (Hove, Brighton), and afterwards for some time associated with him in his practice, being also on the Staff of the Brighton and District Public Dental Service.

"He was a most conscientious man in all his undertakings, and a true and kind friend, and also well read, being devoted to literature.

"He took a keen interest in the Boy Scouts, being Scout Master at Shrewsbury, where he practised with Mr Quinby. He joined the Sussex R.G.A. Territorials some years ago and on going to Shrewsbury was transferred to the Lancashire and Cheshire R.G.A.

"Early in the war he volunteered for Foreign Service, and in the spring went to France with a Siege Battery; his death occurred on November 10."

Claude H Stainer – 2nd Lt. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment – killed in action November 15th 1916 aged 31

"We regret to announce that Second Lieutenant Claude Hamilton Stainer, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action on November 15, 1916, whilst attacking a German trench. He was the youngest and only surviving son of Captain William Stainer, R.N., of 22, Twyford Avenue, West Acton, W., and was 31 years of age. He qualified as L.D.S.Eng. in 1913, from Guy's Hospital Dental School, where he was very popular and esteemed both by his teachers and by his fellow students. He was in practice in Lydenburg,Transvaal when war broke out, and he returned to England to offer his services to his King and Country. He obtained his commission from the Inns of Court O.T.C. in August, 1916, and crossed to France in October. His death has occasioned sincere regret among his brother officers and many friends."

Morrish, Snell and Stainer are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

Wheeler is buried in the Guillemont Cemetery.

View related tweets from @BDALibrary


Download #WW1Dentists tweets as a pdf

Book in focus - Reconstructing faces

Our book in focus concentrates on the First and Second World War surgical advances made by four individuals, Sir Harold Gillies, Sir Archibald McIndoe, Rainsford Mowlem, and Henry Pickerill.

Reconstructing Faces - book in focus.jpg
Reconstructing faces - the art and wartime surgery of Gillies, Pickerill, McIndoe and Mowlem

M C Meikle
Otago University Press, 2013

This book is available to borrow from the BDA library. ​ ​


Suggested reading


For a selection of our World War One literature view the document on the left.

Email us if you would like to borrow any of the titles.