The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site
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Diary - February/March 1945
Last day of leave.
Mum came to Goole with me
and saw me off. Pat was in the train. Arrived London 8pm. Staying in
Off to aerodrome early.
Did not fly as aeroplane out of order. Went round shops and bought
Left for aerodrome early.
Left U.K. at 10.30. Arrived Belgium 12.00. By lorry to Brussels. Had lunch
saw Ryder, Ayers and Terry. Left Brussels 5.30pm arrived at unit at 2.30am
On duty at 1, on medical
ward. Wet day.
Working on medical and
surgical wards relieving. Off duty 5-8, washing etc.
Half day went for a walk
across fields with Cameron and Paton. Raining and muddy.
Relieving on minor
surgical ward. Ironing etc when off duty.
On medical ward
relieving. A letter from Thornton (America)
Still relieving. Went for
a walk with Kay into a small village with a church and a windmill.
Medical ward and minor
surgical. Wards very busy. Buzz bombs over.
Minor surgical ward. Bed
at 2pm to go on night duty. Both wards busy. Win is in Brussels on her way
back from leave.
First night of duty over.
100 patients a busy night. Win still not back.
Another busy night. 12
patients on surgical ward.
Had a busy night. 120
patients. Win back from leave. Had an accident in Brussels and one on the
way up here.
Matron from No.8 General
Hospital in Brussels came to stay here for 4 days.
Got up early. Went to the
baths and for a walk with Parker.
Had a fur jerkin given,
not a very good one.
Up at 5. Win and I went
for a short walk. Last night of night duty but still very busy. Rumours we
move in a few days.
Finished night duty.
Packing. Five French girls staying with us in transit.
Packing personal goods.
Win and I went for a walk through Grave Ė bought postcards back in time
for tea then went to baths.
In ambulance by 10am.
Near Nimegan? Saw Monty and Churchill pass. Went for a short walk. Messing
with officers. We are in monastery. Service in Chapel in evening.
by 7am to continue journey. Through Cleve and into Germany. All houses
down, no civilians. Arrived at 2 at the castle. Furniture still about,
glassware, fruit etc. I began opening church as a ward.
Working. Finished wards.
No windows-very cold. Stoves in most wards. Patients began coming in 2pm.
Ward full busy day.
Busy on ward no off duty
Kay, Esther and I went
for a walk through lanes and across a stream. Through a minefield, saw
unexploded bomb. Lots of German dugouts in the fields, camouflaged with
straw. Saw a few German civilians and kiddies whilst we were out.
Kay and I had a walk in
the afternoon. A lovely Spring day. Found a bicycle but back wheel was
bent. Woods very devastated. Lots of used ammo lying around and empty
boxes. A few graves in the woods.
Letter from Ma and Pa
Packing to leave Wesse.
Handed over patients and the Schlosse to 28th Casualty Clearing
Station. Called Win at 4, had half hour for a walk with Iris and Kay. No
lights on using hurricane lamps. Bed early up at 5.30am
Arrived at Bedburg, near
Cleve after a short journey. Took over from a Canadian F.D.S. and 9 of
their patients. I am on major medical ward. This is part of a mental home.
Fairly busy day. Managed
to get water from mobile laundry for a bath. Had a letter from Rider. Not
allowed out of barracks.
Not too busy, writing
Parker, Kay and I went
out and saw a castle and horses herded in a field. Had a ride on a horse.
Packed in evening for leave to Brussels.
Win and I left for 48
hours leave in Brussels. Arrived 6pm at Hotel Acania.
Had headaches so had dinner and went to bed early.
Stayed in bed til 10 then
changed money. Went to Waterloo in afternoon. To pictures at Garrison
Theatre in evening to see Old Aquantamen.
Parker rang us to say we had to return the following day.
Win and I returned from
48 hour leave in Brussels with Major Nicholson and 3 M.Os.
Had sandwiches on the way. Arrived back 6pm. Heard guns. First
barrage of new push going on.
Admitting all day. No off
duty. First battle casualties arriving. On major surgical.
Busy day no off duty
Heard we are moving on
again and a general hospital is taking over.