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Crown of trephines—for the king of cornea
  1. Richard Keeler,
  2. Arun D Singh,
  3. Harminder S Dua

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The unique crown of trephines illustrated on the front cover of this edition of the British Journal of Ophthalmology was presented to Sir Benjamin Rycroft by his colleagues at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, on the occasion of his 60th birthday in August 1962 (figure 1).

Figure 1

Sir Benjamin William Rycroft, OBE, MD, FRCS (1902–1967).

Fourteen different trephines are attached around the circumference of a wooden stand. The ‘jewel’ on top of the crown is an Arthur von Hippel clockwork trephine. Sir Benjamin Rycroft's main contribution to British ophthalmology was his pioneering work on keratoplasty and the part he played in the drafting of the Corneal Grafting Act 1952. Rycroft was not the first to perform successful keratoplasty in the UK. That accolade goes to another Knight, the Welshman, Sir Tudor Thomas, who in 1930 demonstrated clear corneal grafts on …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.