In memoriam: Emeritus Professor Roy Duckworth CBE
The University of Liverpool was saddened to hear of the passing of Emeritus Professor Roy Duckworth CBE (BDS 1952, MBChB 1959, MD 1964). Roy died peacefully on 16 September 2020, aged 91, and will be remembered as a valued member of the School of Medicine community and for his contribution as Dean of the Royal London Medical School. A victory will be published in the British Dental Journal for Roy.
Roy qualified in both dentistry and medicine at the University of Liverpool. Whilst at the University, he received a Henry Briggs Memorial Medal in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1959, six years after his wife Dr Marjorie Jean Duckworth (née Bowness) (MBChB 1953, MD 1959) received the same. The School of Medicine was donated both medals in 2018 after they were inadvertently mislaid during a house move. Roy and Marjorie were delighted to find out that the School had them and spoke of their fond memories of their time at Liverpool.
Roy served in the RAF Dental Branch and following this, moved to London in 1959 as a Nuffield Fellow to work at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and Guys Hospital Dental School. He joined the staff of the London (now Royal London), Whitechapel in 1961 and remained there for the rest of his very distinguished career.
Roy made rapid progress through the academic ranks, becoming Professor and Head of the Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology in 1968. In 1969, he took over the mantle of the Dean of Dental Studies from Geoffrey Slack and carried out those duties with great distinction for six years. From 1986-94, Professor Duckworth was Dean of the Medical College at a time of great change when a clear mind and steady hand at the helm were essential.
In addition to these roles, Roy held a number of prestigious positions within the dental and medical world. In 1983, he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons, and in 1990 also occasionally held office as President of the British Society of Periodontology, the British Society of Oral Medicine, and the British Dental Association. He served on several important committees and advisory bodies, both nationally and internationally, and was Editor of the International Dental Journal for many years.
Professor Duckworth's outstanding contributions were very deservedly recognised by the award of the CBE in 1987.
Roy is survived and missed by his beloved wife Marjorie, sons Michael and Stephen, daughter Anne, nine grandsons, former colleagues at the Royal London Hospital, and friends worldwide. Here at the University of Liverpool, we join them all in remembering Roy for his distinguished career and his generosity in supporting learning facilities at the University. We send our thoughts and deepest condolences to his family.