The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site
This site is dedicated to the memory of Freda Laycock
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Freda's Diaries - January/February 1943
Freda kept a diary for a two year period during the war - 1943 and 1945. Here we reproduce her daily record of those times. This part of the site is under construction. Please call back regularly for updates:
Bathing at Lumley- Danny and Willis were there. Walk in the evening.
Sgts dance at Grafton. Went by ambulance. I enjoyed it very much. Half day, tea at Kennedys1. Service at Sailors' Institute. Lighting failed. Capt. Summers2 spoke.
Working on Ward 3, transferred patients to Ward 5 as there was an invasion of ants in Ward 3.
5-8pm letter writing.
Trip to Charlotte Falls. Walked there. Chop at Kenneth's. Back by car with Kennedys.
10-1 Win3 on night duty. Another boil in my ear.
Half day. Should have played tennis but did not go owing to this boil. On night duty
Night duty again on Ward 15
Still on night duty. Win and I went to Kennedys for chop. Jack4 collected us.
A cable from home from Bessie5
Two more cables - Thomas and Edna6
A cable from mother
Finished night duty. Win and I went for a walk.
Day off. Sewing all day. Moonlight picnic, sausage supper.
Day off. Bathing with 3 friends No. 2 beach.. Kennedys in evening. My birthday presents from Win, Jack and Mrs Kennedy. On duty Ward 19, Sunday morning service
Half day. Tennis with Geoff and Ceisor. Dinner at Kennedys. 9 of us. Win, Nela, Willis, McClure, Jack and Geoff. Bouquets and birthday cake. Sent cable for??..birthday.
10-1 . Willis and Dr McClure came for tea. I had my ear seen to. A quiet day on the ward. Reading Rebecca.
Half day. Sewing all day. Having my ear treated.
10-1 Douney came for tea.
Half day. Saw Helen off to Lagos. Trip to Bulham, Win, Will, Douney and I.stayed to chop. Met Kennedys who brought us back.
10-1. Mending a.m. Letters in afternoon, Kennedys p.m. Went down on Jack's motorbike. Chinese chequers. Half day. Jack and Geoff came for tea. Took us down to the service. Kennedys for tea.
Service in Sailors' Institute p.m. Jack spoke on Dunkirk. Kennedys brought us back.
1 Kennedys and Ione Driscoll are American missionaries who were in Sierra Leone when mum arrived. They remained friends after the war.
2 Captain Summers and Mum kept in Christmas card touch after the war. They were able to meet up again years later when on one visit to me we went to meet Mr Summers at his home in Epsom.
3 Win Lacy became mum's lifelong friend. She came from Wallasey (Merseyside) She and mum met on enlisting and fortunately for them were posted together ever afterwards - rather unusual as friendships were not considered when postings were sent out. Mum always felt it was because both their surnames began with L.
4 Think this is a reference to Jack Alstrapp who mum and Aunty Win used to talk of. Think he was a dentist in the Reigate area after the war.
5 Cousin of mums from Hensall
6 One of mum's brothers who is now 96 and still living in Hensall. Edna is mum's sister. Sadly she died early 1960s
10-1 Major Roberts saw my ear, to be admitted to Ward 19 tomorrow.
A number of visitors again. Padre Malacki, Shaw and others. Mail arrived
9.30pm.8 letters, snaps of nephews, 2 papers.
Wrote home to Teresa. Mrs Kennedy came and brought ice cream.
Tony Thomas brought book of poems for me.
Sewing for Gorkie. Douney came to see me brought books. Padre Robson and
Up 2 hours today, Geoff came to see me in the evening. Did a spot of sewing.
Reading most of today.
Jack and Win had tea with me in the ward. Win came up to see me after duty.
Barker Julia and Sister Owens admitted to the ward with me. Barker had her appendix out. Douney came and brought books, Win came along with her sewing.
Another Sister admitted. Went to Tower Hill show in evening. Mail, 7 letters and 2 parcels. 1 paper.
Writing letters. Geoff came up to see me. Win came up later. Went with Julia for X-ray.
Discharged. Mr and Mrs Kennedy came up and stayed for tea. Reading most of
1st day sick leave. Sewing all morning. Walk in evening.
2nd day sick leave. Reading most of day. Did some sewing.
Kennedys in evening. RAF chairman there.
On duty Extension 24 and 25. Half day, service in afternoon. Kennedys for tea. Service at Sailors Institute later.
10-1. Went to R.T.O. about tickets to Makeni.
Half day. Did some packing. Went up to see Julia.*
Did some cutting out in evening.
10-1, more packing ready for leave.
Left Water Street Station at 8.35 a.m. John Summers with us. Malaki and ? joined us. Arrived 12 noon. Met by a Major and Captain Joyce. Taken to Birches.
Went round Dispensary at Birches. Came by truck to Ione's. Had lunch and rested. Walk to village later. Saw natives dancing and Bandha girls. Singing on veranda later in evening.
Lazy morning, Sgt and officer came to tea. Walked round Kamabai. Saw Karomah's wife. Steak sizzle in the moonlight, singing round the fire.
Clocks altered. Played organ in morning. Went to Bumbah to see burnt village. 58 houses - chief 30 wives. Service in evening, John*
spoke, singing on veranda later, John sat in hammock, broke later.
Walked to tip of hillock. Pistol shooting and singing. Sleep. 5pm ladies sewing meeting. Walked in Kamabai. Service Jack spoke. Head man Bagbun told us of wailings. Native pianola.
Up at 6.45am. Walk to top of big hill. Breakfast
of coffee-sandwiches. Singing, plenty of rests. Children marching afterwards. Saw spinning in
village. Children practice racing. Service Geoff spoke. Talking until 12 midnight.
Game of croquet, tug of war ? school girls. Pa K collected us to Birches. Steak sizzle over charcoal fire. Singing rounds. Brought boys to transit camp and station. Back to rest house and mud hut.
Went round town and hospital. Geoff rolled up ?missed train. Breakfast under
mango tree. Birches and Ks collected us went to Masumbo- old mission house,
lunch there. Dr Madden and 2 MDs collected us went to his house for dinner.
Breakfast under mango tree.
Ione and I saw march past. Went to Dr Madden's house Pa K collected us, back to rest house. Sports
tea round prison. Left at dark. Dinner out of doors, hurricane lamp bed.
Packed and came in Ione's car to Badembe. Crossed ferry lots of army traffic. Mrs Birch and Mrs K already here. Cinema men came to chop out of doors. Cinema show Africans there.
Service in village, native preacher and interpreter- "build your house on a rock." Round chiefs house and court native prisoner- stole 2 cows. Letter writing, bed in afternoon. Walk with Win after bath talk over the holiday. Evening meeting. Music by cinema people in evening.