Harold Chapman was born in Liverpool in 1881. He undertook an indenture with a local private practitioner before attending Liverpool School of Dental Surgery, qualifying with a LDS in 1903. On his graduation, he was appointed Dental House Surgeon and spent nine months in general practice. In 1905 Chapman travelled to America to continue his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained the DDS. While there he heard about Angle’s 6 week course, which he attended at the end of 1905.
On Chapman’s return to London he joined George Northcroft at his practice for 18 months before setting up his own practice in Harley Street. In 1921 he limited his practice solely to orthodontics, becoming the first exclusive orthodontic practitioner in England. He continued working in this practice until his retirement in 1952.
Chapman held a short appointment as part time demonstrator at Guy’s Hospital, resigning in 1911 to take on a role as Honorary Dental Surgeon at the London Hospital Dental School. In 1923 he was appointed as Lecturer of Orthodontics. In this role from 1931-1938 he organised the first official postgraduate course on orthodontics on behalf of the Dental Board of the UK. In 1947 the Royal College of Surgeons awarded Chapman the FDS, this was followed by a D.Orth in 1954.
Chapman was a keen member of many orthodontic and dental societies. He was a founding member of the BSSO, holding the posts of Secretary (1910-1925), President (1925 and 1952) and Honorary Treasurer (1942-1952). He was President of the European Orthodontic Society (1938), and was a member of the Societe Francaise d’Orthopaedie Dento-Faciale, the American Association of Orthodontics and the Odontological Section of Royal Society of Medicine, of which he was also President (1943). Chapman was an active member of the BDA, being President of the Metropolitan Branch of the BDA (1934), Vice President from 1950 and a member of the Representative Board.
Chapman was a prolific writer, publishing more than 80 articles and contributing to orthodontic textbooks.