He held several administrative posts in medical establishments, including at St George's Hospital, where he was a senior surgeon.
Bennett introduced London doctors to massage as a treatment modality for new fractures in 1898 and he established a department of massage at St. George´s. However, his most important contribution to medical science was a paper in which he introduced the surgical procedure of posterior rhizotomy for the relief of spasmodic pain in a lower extremity.
He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in July 1901, for services rendered to sick and wounded returning from the Boer War, South Africa, 1900–02, for which he was publicly thanked by Lord Roberts.
The following year he was on 8 May 1902 appointed a Knight of Grace of the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in England (KStJ).
During the War 1914–1919 he relinquished all private affairs to take up work with British Red Cross and the Order of St John
Bennett married first, in 1882, Isabel Dickinson (died 1911), daughter of Thomas Dickinson. After his first wife´s death, he married second, in 1914, Gladys Florence Stewart Hartigan, daughter of Rev. Allen S. Hartigan
Notes and references
- BENNETT, Sir William Henry’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
- Bennett, William H. (1909), Lectures on the use of massage and early movements in recent freactures. New York, Bombay & Calcutta: Longmans, Green & Co., fourth edition.
- Bennett. On spasmodic pain.
- "No. 27336". The London Gazette. 23 July 1901. p. 4837.
- "No. 27432". The London Gazette. 9 May 1902. p. 3087.
- "Sitter: Lady Bennett [possibly Isabel née Lloyd Dickinson d 1911]". Lafayette Negative Archive.
- Bennett, William H. (1889), A case in which acute spasmodic pain in the left lower extremity was completely relieved by subdural division of the posterior roots of certain spinal nerves, all other treatment having proved useless; death from sudden collapse and cerebral hæmorrhage on the twelfth day after the operation at the commencement. Journal: Medical Chirurgical Transactions, vol. 72, pp. 329–48.
- Morton, Leslie T. (1970), A medical bibliography (Garrison and Morton). Philadelphia & Toronto: J. B. Lippincott Company, p. 559.
- Wilkins, Robert H. (1992), Neurosurgical Classics. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers, p. 129.
- University of California Libraries Internet copy of Bennett's 1910 edition of: Lectures on the use of massage. . . etc.