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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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"Florence Nightingale" and the Young Soldier

by Wendy Barker

Contributed by 
Wendy Barker
People in story: 
Beryl Drake and Raymond Driver
Location of story: 
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Contributed on: 
14 November 2004

My mother, Beryl Drake, was an auxiliary nurse during WWII working at Mill Road hospital in Cambridge (which was a maternity hospital then used for injured soldiers). My father, Raymond Driver, was a young injured Sapper from Sussex who was billeted to this hospital. According to my mother she fell instantly in love and couldn't concentrate to the point she put salt in his tea instead of sugar. They married at the end of the war, my father in his de-mob suit and my mother in a dress made of lace curtains and shoes 'blancoed' white with the ends cut off to make them peep-toe. My father was never a well man, partly because of the injuries he received and also because he was asthmatic. He died 14 years after the war when I was 12 and my brother 9. They were incredibly happy in the short time they had and although he did not die in the war I know it shortened his life, so even though he will never be acknowledged a war hero, in my eyes he was. My mother married again but her second husband left her. They are the two on the back row to the right.

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