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To: Jeremy Vine Show
My Mum was a Red Cross nurse in West London during the Blitz (1940) during WWII.
She had a corrugated metal nursing hut in the street where she would routinely
dress minor wounds, or else dress more serious cases in preparation for the ambulance to transport them to hospital. Injuries ranged from wounds from flying glass and bricks, to more serious cases such as crushing injuries. She would work shifts in conjunction with the air-raid wardens, ack-ack gun and searchlight crews, firemen, rescuers, and the local police. She was only 5-foot two, blonde with blue eyes, and the only nurse for about 1/4- square mile.
One night she was asleep in her one room bedsit, and woke up late. She hadn't heard the alarm clock. She was supposed to be on duty 20-minutes before, at her nursing station. She frantically gathered up her stuff, which included her First Aid kit, tin helmet, and gas mask, and ran down stairs to where her bicycle was kept under the stairs. Quickly but awkwardly she got down the front steps with her bike and stuff, and started pedalling hell for leather in the direction of her First Aid station - about a mile away. Although groggy from sleep, she gradually realised that it was very foggy as well as being quite dark. Nevertheless she continued pedalling furiously. All of a sudden her tin helmet slipped down over her eyes, and unable to see at all, she slammed right into a cast iron lamp post. She was knocked out cold.
She woke up sometime later in her own nursing station, being tended by her friends - the air-raid warden and the local bobby who had found her crumpled little body in the street! Despite the great big bump on her head, they all laughed about her incident, as they shared a good hot cup of tea. About ten minutes later the air-raid siren sounded, and wearing a big bandage on her head she was on duty again as dozens of German bombs fell screaming down around her section of the City.
She was a very gutsy lady - my Mum!!
Lin in Bexhill
The German airforce unleashes a wave of heavy bombing raids on London, killing hundreds of civilians and injuring many more.BBC On This Day
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