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The Train Experience

by SVC_Cambridge

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ruth Hill
Location of story: 
Surrey, Durham
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
27 May 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Jess from Swavesey Village College. On behalf of Ruth Hill and has been added to the site with her permission. Ruth fully understands the sites terms and conditions.

The war started when was 14 ½, having left school at 14. I had set my heart on being a nurse. I heard of a hospital who would take me for training at 16 ½. I went to Queen Mary's in Carshalton, Surrey. We and the local area were bombed a lot, so when off duty we went into the local area and help the injured.

When the Doodle Bugs were landing too close for comfort the parents said, if the children were fit and healthy they would be evacuated and so it was decided to take the medical side to Yorkshire and the surgical side of Durham to an emergency hospital which is where I went.

As it was such a long way instead of going in ambulances the flying Scotsman was converted into a huge ambulance. The seats were all removed and stretchers were put three high all along the carriages It was difficult to nurse the patients when the train was going so fast.

The driver or fireman came along to say that some of us could go on the foot plate- I was lucky enough to put a shovel of coal on to the fire to keep the speed up to 90 miles per hour on the fastest train of time!!

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