Lives of the fellows

Anthony George Freeman

b.14 March 1920 d.1 February 2001
MRCS LRCP(1943) MB BChir Cantab(1947) MA(1947) MD(1950) MRCP(1953) FRCP(1972)

Tony Freeman was a consultant physician at Swindon. After qualifying at St Bartholomew's, he joined the RAMC as a captain and was immersed in the conflict North West Europe. He landed on the Normandy beaches on 'D' day, provided medical support for the beach head, and eventually ended up establishing a medical reception area in Antwerp, surviving both the V-weapon bombardment and Battle of the Bulge. He once got lost behind enemy lines and also developed, for a few weeks, an unwitting addiction to cola (then containing cocaine).

He returned to complete his medical training in Cardiff and Bristol, during which time he trained in general medicine and neurology before taking up his post in Swindon as a general physician with an interest in neurology. He rapidly established links with the neurology and neurosurgical services at Oxford while developing comprehensive local facilities.

His own particular interest was in opthalmic medicine and neuro-opthalmology - being an examiner for the final FRCS in opthalmology for six years and on the council of the section of Opthahmology at the Royal Society of Medicine and lecturing at Moorfields. He published widely (in particular on optic nerves; tobacco amblyopia; chronic cyanide intoxication) and made contributions to leading medical journals and the lay press for over 50 years.

Tony was passionate in his support of good general medical training for specialists, and bemoaned the later superspecialisation and distancing of neurologists from mainstream medicine.

Tony was a fun character, being truly appreciated and respected by all medical colleagues. Medicine was his true vocation, eagerly pursuing it all his life well into retirement (as well as having time to keep a watch on MCC cricket and horse racing).

He was predeceased by his wife Eleanor and leaves three children and three grandchildren (one of whom is a medical student).

Alan Williams

[Brit.med.J., 2001,322,999]

(Volume XI, page 209)

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