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Jane Stokes - A Dramatic Entrance!

by ActionBristol

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Hilda Stokes / Jane Stokes
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12 September 2005

During the Battle of Britain, my mother, who was pregnant, had to go to Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London to see a specialist. She was told that she would have to have an immediate Caesarian because she was suffering from pre-eclampsia and I was breach. All the telephone wires were down, so she could not get a message home to say that she had to remain in London.

During the operation, whilst my mother was in theatre, there was an air raid. I was only 3 lbs and as I was being placed i the incubator, the theatre rocked and the scalpel slipped and cut my arm. My mother had a post partum haemorrhage and a cradle was erected over her bed to protect her. During the night there was a further hit on the hospital and one of the walls fell on to her bed ! Fortunately the cradle saved my mother.

When I was 18 months, I went to stay with my grandparents in Wales while my parents continued to live in Carshalton. My grandfather took me back when I was 3. We had just arrived at Paddington and he looked up into the sky and saw a doodlebug just above. He fled back to Wales with me. I eventually returned home to my parents at the end of the war.

My aunt told me of an air raid in which all the shop windows were smashed and a 'man was laid out flat 6 feet'

The things that I remember most were horrible dried eggs and gas masks.


.......During the Battle of Britain I left my home in Gillingham on Monday 16th September and 5.30 am. It took me nearly 10 hours to get to Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Marleybone, London. We changed from train to bus and bus to bus 6 or 7 times

The reailway lines were up. 'Woolwich Arsenal' had been bombed. Water and gas mains were up, buildings in ruins and still smouldering, great big holes in the road, and you couldn't get a cup of tea or a drink.

I arrived at Queen Charlotte's sometime in the afternoon and was told by the specialist that I would have to stay in and have a Caesarian Section done.
All the telephone wires were down so I couldn't get a message through to Sittingbourne......

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