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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Life on the Wards

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > United Kingdom > London

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Pat Assender (nee Lovell)
Location of story: 
Royal Free Hospital, London and Bedfordshire
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
A5940362
Contributed on: 
28 September 2005

I came up to the Royal Free Hospital in London to start my nursing training. We had an emergency hospital in Bedfordshire which consisted of a lot of huts. We had to work very hard. I worked in the operating theatre a lot of the time. We had this huge theatre which had about eight operating tables. We took in the overflow from the military hospitals convoys of boys that were fighting, especially after D-Day. We also had a lot of German prisoners of war. We had to operate as soon as possible due to the severity of the injuries but in the meantime we plastered them up to prevent infection. Quite often they were running with lice and then we had to get the plasters off quickly and clean them off.

The Germans were frightened of us giving them an anaesthetic. A lot of them were very young boys, some as young as 16 and they would argue that they didn’t want English blood. Of course if they didn’t want it they didn’t get it. The youngsters were very brainwashed, it was very sad really.

This story was entered on The People's War Website by Stuart Ross on behalf of Pat Assender. Pat fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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