Professor Joseph R Moore

Professor Joseph Moore died peacefully at home on 28th of April 2012. He was highly regarded and will be remembered by many students and members of staff with great respect.

He was born in Peru to a French mother and English father and spent his early years in Peru, France and Spain until the family finally settled in Birmingham. Joe’s ambition was to pursue a military career but parental pressure led to him entering Birmingham University to study the combined Medicine & Dentistry course. He gained Blues in swimming and boxing but having failed all his exams he left university and his parents agreed he could enter Sandhurst Military Academy.

His time there was cut short by the start of World War 2 and he was commissioned into the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He went to France as part of the B.E.F returning to England with the Dunkirk evacuation. He subsequently trained with Combined Operations in Scotland which later became the Commandos. During the war his Beach Landing Group did three landings in Italy at Pachino, Salerno and Anzio. When the Italian King capitulated he became a Liaison Officer involved with reforming the Italian Army.

Despite gaining rapid promotion to Lieutenant- Colonel and twice being mentioned in despatches he decided to leave the army. He had met his future wife Jane, with whom he was to spend 66 years of happily married life, and re-entered Birmingham Dental School where he gained a Blue in fencing, was on the committee of the Athletic Union and wrote film criticisms for the student newspaper.

After qualification in 1950 he followed a career in Oral Surgery in Birmingham and was promoted rapidly gaining a Consultant appointment based in Sunderland and Carlisle. Having decided he wanted to go into teaching he attained a Senior Lecturer post at UCH London where he radically changed the teaching philosophy of the department by insisting that when an undergraduate extracted a tooth, any fractured root fragment should be surgically removed immediately and not referred for specialist treatment.

Despite meeting major opposition he succeeded in introducing the month long undergraduate course as well as completing his MDS and his book, “Principles of Oral Surgery”. Promoted to Reader, he applied for, and was appointed to, the newly created Chair of Oral Surgery at Manchester in

He re-organised the Oral Surgery course, introducing his new Oral Surgical philosophy to Manchester with precision and discipline. He also invited every student on the course to dinner at his home where tasty meals were provided by his wife and the after dinner conversation was always stimulating.

He became Dean of the Dental School and using his organisational skills introduced a number of changes to the school including the rotating Deanship, believing that it aided the introduction of new ideas and progress. It was during this phase of his career that Manchester Dental School was recognised as one of the best in the country.

He was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor and became the only dentist to have become Dean of the Medical School. He served on the UGC UK and the UGC Hong Kong but, despite this busy schedule, he continued to run marathons, walked the Grande Route Cinque from the Belgian border to the South of France, became Honorary Colonel of 207 Territorial Army Unit (medical) and Commander of The Order of St John’s. On retirement from the university he was appointed Chairman of North Manchester Health Authority and the changes he introduced resulted in national recognition.

When he finally fully retired he took up Art gaining an “A” level and a Diploma. Joe will long be remembered as a formidable character and greatly respected by those he came in contact with, especially the many he influenced and helped.

He is survived by his wife Jane and a son, daughter and grandson.

Gill Gilbe & Pip Thomas

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