- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Zuster S. and BARTJE
- Location of story:
- Batavia MIL. Hospital.
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 05 January 2006
My Surgical ward in Batavia
One person one would like to meet was Zuster S. :She was our matron although we did not use that title.
She was plain Zuster S.
Always available: day or night.
She was tall,blond and always walked the hospital grounds with a cigarette in the corner of her mouth .She loved smoking and SCOTCH and a few other things.
I got to know her well as I was often nightsupervisor and I worked out of her office.
We appreciated each other. One night I discovered her sense of humor.
I had to start a Unit of blood on a new surgical arrival on Ward 1.
The hospital beds were made of iron.
The klamboe -mosquito netting -was fastened to a short bar that extended out side the footend of the bed so the klamboe could be tucked in. When I was ready to start the blood the orderly handed me the BOTTLE-no plastic bottles yet!-I turned around to get the bottle I bumped my elbow against the iron outcropping of the bed!!!
I saw stars and felt faint. Down I went and the back of my head hit the stone floor::BOING BOING !!!
I was out !!!!
I woke up from the smell of Scotch,I opened one eye and saw Zuster S. She knew about the rumors after my extended leave and decided to play along with it.
She told me I was .....in the Maternity WARD . I tried to figure out what happened??
She said:"You are NOT pregnant but I want you to stay here for a couple of days for observation?"
i was puzzled: what kind of observation???
I found out when they took my Neuro Vital SIGNS and then the nurses told me I had fainted in Ward 1 and that Zuster S . gave the orderlies order to take me to the Maternity Ward.
Of course more rumors started circulating:after all I had just returned from 6 weeks leave with my fiancé: No working, lots of eating Nassi Ramas; a very spicy rice dish in Sumatra ,swimming and lolling around on the beach made me add a" few "pounds in weight!!And now I was admitted to the Maternity Ward.....
I must be pregnant!!
After I completely recovered I took stock of the situation and deided to get out and go to my living Quarters. i.o. staying for a few more days
Later I asked Zuster S. why she decided to put me in the Maternity Ward.
She said it was a place with lots of women and she knew I would be safe there.No mention of the rumor.
The pregnancy rumor died a quiet death much to the chagrin of some who liked that gossip!
Another welknown figure in the Hospital was: BARTJE. Not a little Bart as "TJE" would suggest.But a husky ,stocky blond sergeant. Bartje knew everybody and every thing!!
You needed some unusual item?tell Bartje and he got it for you.
He got the surgeons what they needed .
When we needed an oscillating Fan for a patient with a high temp: Bartje got us one.
We had pow's in our ward tied to the bed with chains.
Bartje came often and checked out if every thing was ok. He often gave them a piece of his mind in their language and it scared the pow"s to death! No idea what he told them.
He was strong as an ox: could lift an ambulance up by it's bumper.
As nightsupervisor I did my rounds on a bicycle.. Bartje went with me.
He would not let me check the patients in the VD ward! or for that matter in the PSYCH ward.He went in and jotted down what I needed to know for report!
He said that I had NO businees to check "those" patients : he would do that for me.
The management knew it and thought it was OK.
He was very protective of me!!
He was the Guard at the gate : only Bartje could let you in!!
He had somerhing against certain "foreign" troops who sold their weapons to peloppors for a woman.
He liked Gurkahs!
When I was off a jeep with Gurkahs picked me up at the gate to take me to the Britsish Officer Mess.I got to know the medical staff from bringing in people from Ambarawa camp where often young christian girls were slashed with klewangs -BIG knives-.
The Gurkahs drove a jeep and had lots of weapons! Bartje was impressed by that!!
Bartje wanted to know whether they kept an eye on me till the surgeons came off duty. Oh yes they did!!
They settled me on the terrace,put a pistol on the table + a wind up gramophone with the latest records. I knew one sentence in URDU: 'HOM MONG CHAR" : I would like some tea.
OH, course I did not know how to shoot that pistol but I was sure they were somewhere close by to take care of me.
I told Bartje all that and he was satisfied!
After I got demobbed I lost contact with Bartje !!
I know what happened to ZUSTER S. She was transferred and later committed suicide!!
What a waste: She was an excellent NURSE!!!
I quit sending stories to WW2 at the end of NOVEMBER but several people asked me whether I had some more to tell.
It looked like I quit in the middle of telling stories.
I thought Zuter S..and Bartje were some remarkable people worth writing about.
I hope you do too.
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