Anne Millar

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 11 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1232
  1. Peter Rose, Tim Huins

Anne Millar was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Her father was a builder, and her mother’s family were farmers. She went to Hitchin Girls Grammar School, where she was head girl. She then attended London’s University College Hospital, where she was one of only two women in her year, and gained a distinction. She married Andrew Millar, a fellow student, and proceeded to house jobs in Hitchin.

Anne moved to Benson, Oxfordshire, in 1953, when her husband Andrew became a partner in the practice in Dorchester on Thames. They built a house in Benson and had the foresight to add a surgery on the same site. The surgery was small but was one of the first purpose built surgeries in Oxfordshire. At the time Anne had a young family, but she started working in the practice as an assistant in the mid 1960s. For the next 20 years all medical services in Benson were run from the family home, with the two doctors being known affectionately as Dr Anne and Dr Andrew. In 1970 the Dorchester partnership split up and Anne and Andrew became partners in the new practice in Benson. They were always on call and everyone in the village knew that they only had to knock on their door for medical assistance.

Anne was an approachable and thoughtful colleague, full of expertise and good sense. Over the 30 years she served the Benson community her positive attitudes, enthusiasm, and energy were undiminished. There was no common room in the original surgery, so she provided refreshments at her kitchen table after surgeries, where she gave invaluable support to colleagues and attached staff. When Andrew died in 1982, she continued to practise for a further eight years, during which time she helped to plan and build a new surgery in the centre of Benson, as part of her succession planning.

Anne was particularly interested in child health and was expert in both the care of sick children and child development.

When she retired from the Benson practice, she continued briefly as the medical director of the Wallingford Community Hospital.

Anne’s great strength was her ability to identify needs within her community, both social and physical, and she was remarkably effective in ensuring these needs were addressed. She oversaw many projects, for example the local holiday play scheme for children, a day centre for the elderly, an indoor bowls club, a new lychgate for the church, and an ecological study team, among many other community projects. She was also president of the Women’s Institute and chair of the parish council. She was a superb gardener with an encyclopaedic knowledge of horticulture.

Anne leaves three children (a midwife and two doctors) and eight grandchildren, three of whom are in the medical profession.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1232


  • Former general practitioner (b 1927; q University College Hospital, London, 1951), d 21 October 2013.

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