The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site
This site is dedicated to the memory of Freda Laycock
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Catterick and D Day
On her return from Sierra Leone in 1943, mum arrived back in England where preparations for D-Day were underway.
She was posted to Catterick Camp to await embarkation. She went out 10 days after D Day as part of the 10th British Casualty Clearing Station (CCS). She lived under canvas, in convents, schools and castles, gradually following the troops.
Below are reproductions of Freda's Military identity card and her Catterick Camp identity certificate.
The below photographs and documents indicate some of the places that Freda was sent to. The photograph of the 10th Casualty Clearing Station was taken in Cuxhaven just before the unit was disbanded at the end of the war and after Freda had carried out outstanding work in the liberation of a Prisoner of War camp..
During her time with the 10th Casualty Clearing Station, Freda was awarded leave. The document below shows that she went to Brussels. The small brochure lists places of interest but also has some interesting notes on behaviour: "Do not talk about where your unit is or what it is. Do not discuss equipment, losses or battle experience. The people of Brussels are very hospitable and will do all they can to make your leave enjoyable. Enjoy yourself with them but do not tell them anything."
There was also a list of do's and dont's which included leaving cafes by 11 p.m, observing a curfew from midnight until 5 a.m and not visiting brothels!
There was also the opportunity for humour as the below cartoon shows. It has been adapted either by Freda or a colleague and is dated August 30th, 1945. The official caption reads: "Cases 10, 11 and 12 are due for discharge to-morrow, so that will be three apple-pie beds after their bath tonight. Is that quite clear?" The words "You Lucky People" and "A.T.S Ward" have been added along with the names Betty, Chris, Pam, Yvonne, Our Gertie and Sgt Blue Pants on the beds.
There is also a postcard in the artefacts which is signed by Chris, Pam, Betty and Yvonne which is headed Bags of Separate Dishes and includes the following poem:
Remember us in the kitchen
Remember us in the sink
Remember us washing dishes
Whenever you've time to think
The card also has the following appeal: "What O a soap dish missing. Come on you bounders dish up."
Things were due to get much more serious, however, as mum became part of a medical unit that liberated a prisoner of war camp.