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Biographical entry Mills, George Percival (1883 - 1952)

MRCS 10 May 1906; FRCS 30 July 1908; MB BS London 1906; LRCP 1906.

18 July 1883
7 March 1952
Orthopaedic surgeon


Born at Walsall on 18 July 1883 the eldest child and only son of George Mills, ironmaster, afterwards of Great Barr, Staffordshire, and his wife M E Kettlewell of Howden, whose daughter married Seymour Barling FRCS, he was educated at Harrow and at the Birmingham medical school, but graduated with honours in surgery at the University of London in 1906, having won the gold medal in anatomy in 1903. He took the Conjoint qualification in 1906, and proceeded to the Fellowship in 1908. He served as house surgeon at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, London, and as resident surgical officer at Salford Royal Hospital.

Mills returned to Birmingham as resident surgical officer at the General Hospital, with which he remained connected for the rest of his career, ultimately becoming consulting surgeon. During the war of 1914-18 he served as a Major in the RAMC with the 47th General Hospital in Serbia, where he saw more dysentry and malaria than surgical cases, and later in charge of the surgical division of the 36th General Hospital at Salonika. He was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Serbian Order of St Sava.

He worked as an excellent general surgeon with a leaning towards orthopaedics for twenty years after the war, retiring in 1938 at the age of 55 for reasons of health. Besides his position at the General Hospital, he was consulting surgeon to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, the Victoria Cottage Hospital, Lichfield, and the Corbett Hospital, Stourbridge. He practised at 58 Calthorpe Road, Edgbaston, and lived after retirement at Glazenbridge, Shrawley, near Worcester. He was appointed visiting surgeon to the Ronkswood Hospital, Worcester.

Percival Mills married in 1913 Christine, daughter of Professor John Humphreys FSA of Birmingham and sister of Humphrey Humphreys OBE, FDS, professor of dental surgery there. He died at Shrawley on 7 March 1952 aged 68, survived by his wife, his daughter and his two sons, both members of the medical profession. Mills was a man of considerable brilliance, whose pungent wit did not detract from his charm nor from his abilities as a committee-member. His recreations in younger days were lawn-tennis and rock-climbing; latterly he enjoyed trout-fishing, especially in the Usk near Brecon; he was also a keen botanist.

Surgery for dental students, with Humphrey Humphreys. London, Arnold 1913; 3rd edition 1922.
Diseases of bones and joints, in L G Parsons and S G Barling Diseases of infancy and childhood Oxford 1933, pp. 1408-1540.
Willoughby Carter (a novel) edited by Humphrey Pakington. London, Chatto and Windus 1954.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1952, 1, 662 by S G Barling, and p 821 eulogies by T L Hardy and James Gore; Bgham med Rev 1952, 17, 232 by H W Featherstone; information from Mrs Mills].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library