The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site



        This site is dedicated to the memory of Freda Laycock

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Diary - February/March 1945

February 1st

Last day of leave.

February 2nd

Mum came to Goole with me and saw me off. Pat was in the train. Arrived London 8pm. Staying in transit hotel.

February 3rd

Off to aerodrome early. Did not fly as aeroplane out of order. Went round shops and bought pyjamas.

February 4th

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 Grave Holland.

February 5th

On duty at 1, on medical ward. Wet day.

February 6th

Working on medical and surgical wards relieving. Off duty 5-8, washing etc.

February 7th

Half day went for a walk across fields with Cameron and Paton. Raining and muddy.

February 8th

Relieving on minor surgical ward. Ironing etc when off duty.

February 9th

On medical ward relieving. A letter from Thornton (America)

February 10th

Still relieving. Went for a walk with Kay into a small village with a church and a windmill.

February 13th

Medical ward and minor surgical. Wards very busy. Buzz bombs over.

February 14th

Minor surgical ward. Bed at 2pm to go on night duty. Both wards busy. Win is in Brussels on her way back from leave.

February 15th

First night of duty over. 100 patients a busy night. Win still not back.

February 16th

Another busy night. 12 patients on surgical ward.

February 17th

Had a busy night. 120 patients. Win back from leave. Had an accident in Brussels and one on the way up here.

February 22nd

Matron from No.8 General Hospital in Brussels came to stay here for 4 days.

February 23rd

Mumís birthday

February 24th

Got up early. Went to the baths and for a walk with Parker.

February 25th

Had a fur jerkin given, not a very good one.

February 27th

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.

March 2nd

Finished night duty. Packing. Five French girls staying with us in transit.

March 3rd

Packing personal goods. Win and I went for a walk through Grave Ė bought postcards back in time for tea then went to baths.

March 4th

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.

March 5th

 Ready 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.

March 6th

Working. Finished wards. No windows-very cold. Stoves in most wards. Patients began coming in 2pm.

March 7th

Ward full busy day.

March 8th

Busy on ward no off duty

March 10th

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.

March 12th

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.

March 14th

Letter from Ma and Pa Kennedy

March 15th

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

March 16th

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.

March 17th

Fairly busy day. Managed to get water from mobile laundry for a bath. Had a letter from Rider. Not allowed out of barracks.

March 18th

Not too busy, writing letters.

March 20th

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.

March 21st

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.

March 22nd

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.

March 23rd

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.

March 24th

Admitting all day. No off duty. First battle casualties arriving. On major surgical.

March 25th

Busy day no off duty

March 31st

Heard we are moving on again and a general hospital is taking over.