by Malcolm Pratt
During his long wartime mayoralty Mr Freeman took great pleasure in the generous response of Winchelsea residents to appeals on behalf of the County War Patriotic Fund. On one occasion no less than £270 was collected (a considerable amount for a small community in those days) and forwarded by him to the Fund's headquarters in Lewes. He also took the initiative in establishing a connection between his town and the Shire of Winchelsea, Victoria, Australia. Symbolic of that relationship was the sending by the mayor of a Cinque Ports Flag, specially made by a resident, from Winchelsea, Sussex to Winchelsea, Victoria. The councilors of Winchelsea, Victoria obtained special permission for this flag to be used officially and it was first unfurled and flown on the Shire Hall in August 1916.
Despite the demands of his career as a London barrister, Freeman found time to sit on the Rye bench as a magistrate, usually, when he was present, as chairman. On one occasion a certain William Crump, a Winchelsea Beach farmer, came before him on a motoring charge. Crump was extremely annoyed to be fined the maximum amount for his offence. When sometime later Freeman ordered a supply of hay from Crump he was sent, no doubt with little hope of success, a bill which was considerably more than the hay would normally cost but coincided exactly with the amount of the fine!