The man who came home to find a letter saying he was missing - presumed dead

Dr ADCS Cameron who was the Medical Officer for Health for Hartlepool in 1957.
Dr ADCS Cameron who was the Medical Officer for Health for Hartlepool in 1957.

He was at Dunkirk and had a Christmas Day engagement with Montgomery.

And once, when he got home from military duty, he found a letter waiting for him - telling he was missing in action presumed killed.

How we reported Dr Cameron's story in 1957.

How we reported Dr Cameron's story in 1957.

This was Alexander David Christian Stewart Cameron and he was to play a big role in the health of Hartlepool.

Chris Cordner reports.

In 1957, Dr ADCS Cameron was at the forefront of Hartlepool news.

He was the Medical Officer of Health and keen to bring about improvements in the health of the town’s children.

What impressed me most was the discipline of the troops. Despite the plight they were in, their concern for their wounded comrades in the field hospitals was most touching

Dr Cameron

But behind the medical man lay the story of an Army officer whose Second World War experiences were dramatic.

Within two days of the outbreak of the confliuct, he was in khaki.

He was given the rank of captain and posted to France with a Field Ambulance Brigade attached to the 7th Guards Brigade.

While Britain readied itself for dark times ahead, Dr Cameron readied himself for a visit by Viscount Montgomery.

That was momentous enough, but the visit - to a military hospital in Lille - was on Christmas Day in 1939.

It was only the start of his adventures.

Around six months later, he was at Dunkirk when more than 330,000 British soldiers were evacuated under the threat of a German advance.

Dr Cameron said in his 1957 interview: “What impressed me most was the discipline of the troops. Despite the plight they were in, their concern for their wounded comrades in the field hospitals was most touching.”

Before the evacuation was completed, Dr Cameron himself was moved on and when he returned to England, it was a huge surprise to his wife who had just had a letter saying he was missing, presumed dead.

“The unfortunate thing,” he said at the time, “was that had I been back two or three days sooner, I would have been with my wife when she received this news.”

In 1940, he left England for the Middle East where he was stationed in Cairo and Alexandria.

Then he joined the 8th Army for the invasion of Italy and only returned home for good in 1945 to work in a military hospital.

After a couple of domestic appointments, he arrived in West Hartlepool in September 1955. Two years later, he told the Northern Daily Mail: “I can honestly say that since I came here I have been very happy.”

Dr Cameron was out to combat Hartlepool’s high incidences of infant mortality and chest complaints in the 1950s. But he admitted to having a fine town team to help him in his work.

Who can tell us more about him? Contact chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk