- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Pauline Middleton and Ray Wills
- Location of story:
- London and Cornwall
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 17 January 2006
This story was entered onto the Peoples War website by Rod Sutton on behalf of Ray Wills, the author who fully understands and accepts the sites terms and conditions.
Commendation to Pauline Middleton.
The following two letters were sent after Pauline Middleton’s actions during the transport of a baby by ambulance in December 1944. Pauline was a student nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the hospital was evacuated because of the blitz to various places.
18th December, 1944
Ministry of Health
On or about December 6th, Nurse Middleton from Hempstead House was sent down to Black Notley by ambulance in charge of a baby.
In the ambulance there was also a patient suffering from advanced carcinoma who was going to Malden: this patient was taken seriously ill with hemorrhage on the journey and I am informed that Nurse Middleton “acted with great presence of mind and efficiency under most difficult circumstances and was a credit to her hospital and to herself.”
I will be glad if she may be informed officially.
London & Home Counties
MINISTRY OF HEALTH EMERGENCY HOSPITAL SERVICE.
Brockley Hill House,
22nd December, 1944.
Dr. J.C. Gregory
Hempstead House Emergency Hospital,
It gives us great pleasure to forward you a copy of a letter which we have had from Mr. Frankau, the Director of the E.M.S. for London and the Home Counties. Would you please hand this to Nurse Middleton and, at the same time, convey to her our high appreciation at Sector Headquarters of her excellent work?
Deputy Sector Hospital Officer
I met Pauline at a dance at Camborne Drill Hall. I danced with nearly every one of them during the evening but returned to Pauline and danced with her several times. During the break at some stage I asked how they were getting back to Redruth and I was told that they were going to walk back. I had an old Ford popular to take them back when the night ended.
When we got outside there was snow fall and it was quite slippery, we left the dance and driving back I had to negotiate Tuckermill Hill which was this long steep grade and when got two thirds of the way up the wheels started to spin and I lost traction, I told all the five girls in the back to get out, Pauline to stay where she was in the passenger seat, I reversed back down the hill and made quite a fast run and eventually I got up to the top where the five girls were waiting they piled in and we went to the hospital they invited me in for a coffee, the only way that I could get in was via the fire escape.
We were there enjoying a coffee and chatting generally and eventually we heard pitter patter, pitter patter it was the night staff nurse doing her rounds so I had to evacuate promptly via the fire escape. Over my shoulder I said to Pauline that I would see her again when? And she said Wednesday evening at eight o’clock. I was duly stopped in the hospital grounds to see her. Eight o’clock came, nine o’clock came, at twenty past nine she appeared, I thought I was being stood up. However, she had to stay in the ward to attend to a sick child, which was the normal practice in those days - to work until you finished what ever is to be done. We went out and had a little evening together and from then it was a regular thing.
We got married in April 1953, we arranged the wedding before the budget because you had the return of any tax, the Inland Revenue tax which you paid throughout the previous year and this helped in our budget. I had the princely sum of £12 returned from the Inland Revenue. I was a little disgusted with this and complained to the office I was promptly told that I don’t get paid out more than what I paid in that was the total sum I had paid over 12 months tax.
My parents were delighted with Pauline as a daughter-in-law and they helped us to buy a bungalow in St Josephs Road, Hayle for the princely sum of £500. During our courtship we saved as hard as we could my salary then was £8 per week, which was quite good for those days, and we furnished the bungalow with Ercol and Merridrew furniture, Sanderson’s wallpaper and curtaining, the effect was marvelous. a wonderful home, relatives helped paint and decorate, paper the place and I did an awful lot of work whilst Pauline was in her home in Wallington to call the Banns and prepare for the wedding. She made her own dress with the help of a relative and the wedding was very successful we used my fathers car for our Honeymoon we went out into Shakespeare country - Oxford, Cambridge visited all round and had a nice week off.
We returned to Wellington collected our various wedding presents then made or way back to Cornwall. What more could a man want for it was a wonderful, wonderful time and we just grew together. To prove it between 1953 and 1962 we produced no less tan 5 children. Pauline was never happier than when she was looking after her own children.
Sadly in mid 1964 she was diagnosed as having cancer, it was devastating. She was operated on the day after the diagnosis. It was major surgery removing so much of her total diseases. She returned home very much an invalid. I and her doctor nursed her throughout her illness and she died seventeen months later at Newquay Hospital.
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