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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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War Time Memories: The Civil Nursing Reserve

by gray

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Irene Gray
Location of story: 
North East of England / London
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 December 2003

During the 1939 - 1945 War the government of the day created a Civil Nursing Reserve. Many members of the St John Ambulance Brigade in the North East of England joined members of the British Red Cross to train and work in the local hospitals.

A Civil Defence Rescue Section was also formed; members of the St John Ambulance Brigade from Jarrow and other Divisions trained at Dame Margarets in Washington; a former Dr Barnodo's House later to become a centre for the National Coal Board.

The Blitz in London created a need for the services of the Civil Defence Rescue Section. Men and equipment travelled in convoy to the South of England where they worked for several weeks at a time before returning home for a period of leave.

They seldom spoke of the dangers they had faced or the horrors they saw, to them it was what they had trained for.

My father and uncle were both in the Civil Defence and like my many friends in the Nursing Reserve trained so that they would be prepared should the need arise.

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Air Raid Precautions Category
Medical Units Category
London Category
Tyneside and Northumberland Category
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