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15 October 2014
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First Aid in Iver Cottage Hospital

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Kathleen Riches
Location of story: 
Iver, Bucks
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4436426
Contributed on: 
12 July 2005

"This story was submitted to the People's War site by Wendy Edwards from Horsham Library and has been added to the website on behalf of Kathleen Riches with her permission and she fully understands the site's terms and conditions"

In 1941 at the age of 19 I was evacuated with the Insurance firm Lloyds of London for whom I worked, from the City of London to the Thames Valley.Whilst there I decided to volunteer for training as a VAD. I was working as an insurance clerk during the day and then doing First Aid training during the night at Iver Cottage Hospital.
The aircraft factory of De havilland was situated a short distance from the village and I vividly remember the Welsh miners from the Pioneer Corps who were also in the village at that time. They took every opportunity to provide an impromptu concert and would break out into song wherever they were! In order to provide protection for the aircraft factory these miners would set light to oil drums positioned at each corner, so that smoke would obscure the whole area and prevent German bombers from seeing their targets clearly.
Whilst at the hospital, I had to work a certain number of hours on the wards and I remember witnessing casualties from The Royal Air Force, before they were transferred to the burns unit at East Grinstead. At that young age these images really brought home to me the reality of war and those who were fighting.

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