Profile of our past Honorary President
Arthur F Dimmock
The late Arthur Frederick Dimmock was the first-ever BDHS President, having been elected in 2000 at the BDHS AGM in Portsmouth where he lived for the later part of his life. Affectionately known as AFD, he wrote extensively on deaf issues, particularly history, for several journals aimed at deaf communities, both at home and abroad. He was also well-known for his monthly column Girdle Around the Earth, featured in British Deaf News from 1995 to 2006.
His publications pertaining to Deaf History include Sporting Heritage: A Record of the Activities of the Southern Deaf Sports Association since the founding year of 1947; Tommy: A Biography of the Distinguished Deaf Royal Painter, A. R. Thomson, 1894-1979 (1992); Cruel Legacy: Introduction to the Record of Deaf People in History (1993); Arthur James Wilson: 1858-1945 (1996); his own autobiography entitled Muted Passion: the Private & Public Career of a Deaf Optimist (1995); Deaf Mountaineering Club: its history and mountainlore (1998); Venerable Legacy: The Hand of Time, Saint Bede and the Anglo Celtic Contribution to Literary Numerical and Manual Language (1998); Sir Arthur Henderson Fairbairn, 1852-1915: Britain’s Deaf and Dumb Baronet (jointly with G. J. Eagling, 2006).
In 1992, the BDA Congress in Blackpool saw AFD being awarded the BDA Medal of Honour for his 50 years of service to the British deaf community. 1995 saw him awarded with an MBE for his services to deaf people and the RNID Deaf Impact Award for his journalistic contributions. In 2000, an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts was bestowed to AFD from the University of Wolverhampton in recognition of his journalism and work on deaf issues.