Stanley Iain MacLeod Robinson (1940-2023)

LDSRCSEng 1962, D.Orth.RCSEng 1965, FDSRCSEng 1966

Iain was born in Edinburgh in 1940 shortly after war broke out. After the end of the war his family moved south to Tadworth in Surrey but aged 13 years Iain was sent back to boarding school in Edinburgh where he played rugby and joined the Combined Cadet Force which led to him to learn to fly at an early age. He entered Guys in 1958 and soon joined the Sailing and Rugby clubs. Iain qualified LDSRCES Eng 1962 by which time he had decided on a career in hospital dentistry. On the Primary FDS Course at the Royal College of Surgeons of England he met his future wife Ann, then an oral surgery SHO at the London Hospital. Perhaps inevitably, having the distractions of sailing and now playing rugby for the London Scottish, Iain needed a re-sit while Ann passed the primary first time! Iain then joined the one year Eastman Orthodontic Course and achieved his D.OrthRCS Eng in 1965 at which point he and Ann married. She was by this time a demonstrator in oral surgery at Guys and three years later Iain joined her there when he became Senior Registrar in Orthodontics in Jack Tulley’s department where he made many lifelong friends. During his appointment he and Ann were given 15 months leave of absence to assist in the setting up of the Rangoon Dental School’s BDS course which was being supported from the UK through the Ministry of Overseas Development under the terms of the postwar Colombo plan (See Shaw JG, 1969; Robinson SIM, 1971). While there he was able to attend the Begg course in Melbourne and was therefore the ideal person to fill the consultant vacancy at Cambridge when Peter Burke left to take up the chair in orthodontics at Sheffield University in 1972. Peter had been an early convert to the Begg technique and on occasions required is patients to hold the first edition of Begg’s book open at the relevant page for guidance!

Iain addressed his new appointment with customary energy and enthusiasm and was soon being called upon to run practitioner courses outside his immediate area. One of Iain’s early patients, who he inspired to take up a career in dentistry, has recently retired from a consultant post in the specialty. The 3rd International Orthodontic Congress held in London in 1973 demonstrated to many of the younger members of the specialty that its postgraduate training and UK NHS treatment did not meet contemporary international standards. This led to Iain becoming a founder member of the Treatment Study Group of the British Society for the Study of Orthodontics (now the British Orthodontic Society), which produced the first of its demonstrations of exceptionally well treated fully documented cases at the 1977 British Orthodontic Conference. This contributed to the pressure which brought about the establishment of the British Orthodontic Standards Working Party (1980) and ultimately to the introduction of today’s three year specialist training programme in orthodontics.

On arrival in Cambridge Iain and Ann had bought a house in Haslingfield with no mains water or electricity and a leaking roof ; described by his four daughters as ”complete wreck”. This he and Ann now set about restoring. As soon as it was reasonably habitable, the house became a centre for convivial gatherings of neighbours and colleagues with an inexhaustible supply of home-grown veg as they were both now a keen gardeners. Many skiing and golf trips were planned in the kitchen and skiing remained a large part of his life until very recently.

Iain retired from Addenbrooke’s in 2002 but when Ann died tragically in 2012 he moved to Pampisford where he was immediately accepted and made welcome. Here, ten years later despite a recovering from a fractured neck of femur, and an ruptured appendix (on his 80th birthday!) he remained positive and cheerful and with the help of good neighbours was able to stay in his own house and to accommodate Ukrainian refugees. He was planning a reunion of former colleagues at the time of his unexpected death. He will be greatly missed by all especially his four daughters (who include a Consultant Radiologist and a Consultant Respiratory Physician) and his seven grandchildren.



Personal memories and those of his colleagues

Robinson SIM Children’s Dentistry in Burma. Br Dent J 1972; 133: 317-9.

Shaw JG. The New College 0f Dental Medicine, Rangoon, Burma. Br Dent J 1969;127: 293-4.

Announcement – The Treatment Study Group of the BSSO. Br J Orthod 1977; 4: 214.

Report of the Working Party on British Orthodontic Standards. Br J Orthod 1980; 7: 103-7