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The New Zealand Dental Services


IN December 1919 general demobilisation of the New Zealand Military Forces was nearly complete and the need for a large Dental Corps had passed. Lieutenant-Colonel Hunter was demobilised but was retained as Director of Dental Services for the Military Forces on a peacetime basis. He remained responsible for all policy matters which were referred to him by Major C. G. Gray,1 late Assistant Director of Dental Services, who remained on the active list and became Administrative Officer for the DDS. This was purely a temporary appointment to tide over the short remaining period of transition from war to peace.

The only treatment left for the Corps was that of patients at the military hospital at Trentham, the convalescent hospitals at Hanmer and Rotorua and the sanatoria at Cashmere and Pukeora. For this, one officer, Major R. D. Elliott,2 and one mechanic were considered sufficient. There was also a section still attached to the jaw hospital in Dunedin where Lieutenant-Colonel Pickerill was completing the treatment of the long-term cases of jaw and facial injuries. One dental officer, Captain W. S. Seed,3 and one mechanic comprised this section. With these exceptions, the NZDC was demobilised and its officers posted to the reserve. Within two years none was left on the active list.

1 Maj C. G. Gray; born 1880; dental surgeon; died 15 Aug 1941.

2 Maj R. D. Elliott; Eastbourne; born Northern Ireland, 5 Feb 1879; dental surgeon.

3 Capt W. S. Seed; Christchurch; born Christchurch, 1887; dental surgeon.