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15 October 2014
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Inspired to Loving Duty Part 2: British Red Cross

by gloinf

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Hazel Daphne Doswell, Friend Daphne
Location of story: 
Mayday Hospital, London and Eastbourne
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 November 2005

Hazel (left) attends to the underprivileged children

This story was submitted to the Peoples War site by Jas from Global Information Centre Eastbourne and has been added to the website on behalf of Mrs Reigate Nee Doswell with her permission and she fully understands the site’s terms and conditions

As a British Red Cross Junior Detachment Nurse, I helped one evening a week at Mayday Hospital. I also helped in a nursing home.

One evening an elderly lady kept calling me back to her bed. In an effort to catch the last bus I kindly said “Sorry too late”. As I moved out of the room she repeated “Too late”…..”Too late”….”Too late” …….that evening the building was bombed!

Rushing in the blackout I moved right too soon and hit the wall — my face just bruised and swollen etc., I was staying at the time with my sister and when I got back to her house she thought I’d been blasted somewhere, I must have looked a sight!

We also gave treats to unhappy children — food and venue provided by trades people. Also looked after children to give a mother of 7 a bit of time to herself and RAF husband when he was on leave.

We only had one evening in 14 days rest from regular volunteering.

My paid work was 8.00am to 5.30 pm in a Bakers and Confectioners. Take home pay was 12 shillings and 10 pence weekly.

When the windows were blown out I wrote on the boarding: - “WHEN YOU SEE A DOODLE, DAWDLE — DUCK”! as Doodle Bugs were very low flying and numerous.

“CROYDON COURAGEOUS” earned its name as anti-aircraft defence guns protecting London, duly caused the jettisoning of bombs on the surrounding areas.

We saw lots of “Dog Fights” and sadly too many of our fighter aircraft came crashing down…

When our home windows were blown in and ceilings fell — fortunately no one was at home!

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