The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site

    

 

       This site is dedicated to the memory of Freda Laycock

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Sandbostel

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FREDA'S DIARIES

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10th British Casualty Clearing Station

Freda's work for the 10th British Casualty Clearing Station has been featured throughout this site. In her possessions were a booklet giving the history of this organisation through the eyes of Private E.P.V Collin.

Page 53 of the booklet discusses the castle where Freda was billeted for a time - Schloss near Wesse  Private Collin describes Schloss in these terms:

"It was an old place, full of furniture and loot. I wonder what value the stuff had. A Countess was in residence, she was moved out so we could use the place as a Hospital. I wonder what she thought when we shifted all her furniture out, especially that which went flying through the windows into the moat. I bet she was mortified."

Mention is also made on page 54 of the booklet of Sandbostel.

"At last we got our call and went to a place called Sandbostel. Shall we ever forget this place. It was deadly. It was a large camp holding about 22,000 prisoners mostly Russians and Poles with a sprinkling of French, Belgians, Dutch etc. Typhus was rife. We had on our hands between two and three thousand patients, they were terribly undernourished and were like animals over food.

The place was split into what was called wards, each having two or three hundred patients. Typhus block under Sgt Batley had well over a thousand patients, at first it seemed impossible for a CCS to cope with it, but the spirit of the 10th came to the top. The language difficulty alone was tremendous.

We had only been at Sandbostel two or three days when news came that Jerry had surrendered, we could not celebrate we had too much on our hands, though our reward came after about a month. With good attention and bags of grub our patients more or less became fit and we emptied the hospital."

Shortly after this the 10th CCS is disbanded and the final group photo below is taken at Cuxhaven. Freda is on the front row (fourth from the left).