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some people one would like to meet.

by ODYSSEY

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Archive List > British Army

Contributed by 
ODYSSEY
People in story: 
Zuster S. and BARTJE
Location of story: 
Batavia MIL. Hospital.
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A8291072
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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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Josephine -
loved your story - you have been too quiet for too long and you may well have Frank after you for that... while reading it I was struck by the fact that another young lady is asking for some help as she is researching a project which occurred in Malaya in 1942... and she was asking for a translation of " Gillo Lacas".. which is another piece of army slang - with which you may be familiar.... have a look at "Gillo Lacas - Army Slang - A8199237 by Josie Francis - you may be able to assist her
Best regards
Tom can

 

Message 2 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Well done, Josephine! Another excellent story - I am sure there must be more, so get cracking.

Kind regards,

Peter <cheers>

 

Message 3 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Josephine,
Another good story and one that adds to the site unlike some we have seen lately.
The cut off point for stories was moved to 1947 because a lot of the wartime men and women serving had to wait until then to be demobbed.
The stories you have to tell are the result of the Far Eastern war and its aftermath. The general public never heard the true story of what happened to the men and women freed from Japanese captivity.
You were there Josephine and can tell some of those stories so do it before the time runs out, they will never be told otherwise.
Well done,
Frank.

 

Message 4 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

Peter, thanks for your critique! I appreciate it a lot as you are very busy!!
Who knows i might remember more interesting stories!
Josephine.

 

Message 5 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

Hello Frank! because you suggested to get busy writing some more .....I did.
Thanks for your input!!!
i have to think hard if i have more interesting stories. 1947 is the cut off date???
What month will WW2 close here??
i thought it was January '06???
Have to go into the attic of my memories! who knows i might find something.
Thanks again FRANK! You are plenty busy to take time out to tell me what you think is very much appreciated
Josephine.

 

Message 6 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by Frank Mee Researcher 241911

Dear Josephine,
The site coses on the 31st January for good. Any stories you have to add must be in before then so get busy.
Frank.

 

Message 7 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 06 January 2006 by anak-bandung

Hi Josephine
I am joining the guys to say I liked your story. Your style is definitely improving and I liked the two people you sketched here. It must have been quite a shock to hear about zuster S.'s death, especially the manner of. Very sad.
Bartje I can picture, his name totally belieing his stature. One can't look back any fonder to someone who has been protecting you so fiercely that time.. It is such a shame we loose sight of people with whom we once had such a close bond.
Please start dusting out that attic of yours. There must still be some treasures hidden. You have three more weeks! Ajo lekas, Non!!!!
Looking forward to reading some more.
Tabeh for now and love, Rob @->--

 

Message 8 - People I would like to meet

Posted on: 07 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

Adoe non!!trima kassi!
OR: Thanks very much for your input!!ROB!!!
Yes, at the end of this month WW2 closes down :Frank wrote me that.
Thus i will have to bongkar-clean - my attic!

i thought to write something about the medical problems :no one not taking care of the patients would have a clue about the 16 century nursing problems-as i called it!-we encountered! you'll find out: have to hurry!!!
Josephine: y thanks for your input!!!

 

Message 9 - DID anyone KNOW or CARE

Posted on: 07 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

Tom Can. I just wrote another piece for WW2 a bit political i think but tha tshould be told too.It is called : "did anyone know or care" under # A8346972.
In case you want to read it?? Josephine.

Message 1 -

Posted on: 07 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

Tom ! I clicked on " :Josie's"I D but did not get her story!!is it not working anymore??
Just curious.
I'll try to find another story in the"Atic Of My Memories" before WW2 closes!
Josephine>

Message 1 - People I'd Like to meet

Posted on: 13 January 2006 by Len (Snowie) Baynes

Lieve J
Another interesting episode from those far of days J, I can't make out why that Bartje didn't want to marry a lovely girl like your photo tells me you were.
Liefs Len

 

Message 2 - People I'd Like to meet

Posted on: 14 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

L. LEN! Thanks for your input!
He was NOT MY TYPE!!!
That's all!!
And foto's can be deceiving LEN!!!

 

Message 3 - People I'd Like to meet

Posted on: 14 January 2006 by ODYSSEY

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