MILLICE ALBERT FREEMAN, my great-uncle, was a Dental Surgeon who, like so many others, went to war.
Before he left Cambridge, he sent a card out to his patients. I was fortunate to get a copy of this, via Millice Culpin, and there is a picture of it at the bottom of this page.
When I first discovered that Millice had been awarded the MC (Military Cross), I couldn't imagine how a dentist could earn such an honour and came up with one or two facetious reasons (which I won't repeat here!). Then I discovered that the MC was awarded in the Far East and all levity vanished. A description of the battle at Kohima can be found on Wikipedia
The citation reads: On the 15th May, while conducting Stretcher Bearers down a track, leading from the Kohima Naga village area to the Zubza valley, mortar fire was opened on the party. Captain Freeman might well have taken cover with others, but he immediately attended to the freshly wounded patients and bearers instead, moving from one to another with complete disregard of personal safety while mortar bombs continued to fall on the track. I witnessed Captain Freeman's behaviour on this occasion and undoubtedly by his action he prevented further casualties. Captain Freeman is strongly recommended for the award of the MC in recognition of his gallant behaviour on 15th May 1944.
Copyright: "Dentists at War" by V H Ward
Millice died in 1978 and the British Dental Journal included the following obituary: MILLICE ALBERT FREEMAN, M.C., L.D.S.
It was sad news for his many friends to hear that Millice Freeman had died in his sleep on the night of March 15. He was educated at the Cambridge County High School and qualified in dentistry at Guy's Hospital in 1930. He went into practice in Cambridge, where he remained until joining The Army Dental Corps as a volunteer at the outbreak of war.
Millice Freeman had the great distinction of being awarded the Military Cross whilst serving as a dental officer and the simple citation revealed his great gallantry and courage.
He kept contact with comrades in the R.A.D.C. throughout his lifelong membership of the 250 club, over which he presided in 1964. After the war he returned to private practice in Cambridge and to his appointment as an honorary consultant dental surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital. He was Chairman of the Cambridge Section of the B.D.A. and served on the local dental committee.
In 1953 he gave up general practice and joined the Ministry of Health as a dental officer. He was promoted to Senior Dental Officer in 1965 and Deputy Chief Dental Officer in 1967. He retired from the ministry, which had by then become the Department of Health and Social Security, in 1971.
A keen and skilful golfer, Millice made many friends in the B.D.A.G.S., which he supported enthusiastically. The passing of this genial and modest man, whose quiet charm cloaked the great competence he brought to all his undertakings, will be much lamented by all those privileged to have known him, and we extend our sympathy, in the loss we share with them, to his wife, Rosamund, and his son, Michael.
Copyright: British Dental Journal, 1978, Volume 144, No. 9, pages 292-292.