The Freda Laycock Memorial Web Site
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Diary - May/June 1945
Slept in all day. Canadian sisters have arrived. Canadian major came over to tell us that Berlin has fallen. Germans announced the 3rd Reich is finished. Expect news of the war being over any time. We have a bottle of champagne.
Went to officers' shop. Packed and left Bassum at 2pm. Arrived at Marine Camp at 4pm went to bed early. Lots of X POWs about the camp and German POWs working.
Had a day off, stayed in bed in morning. Afternoon did packing. Evening went to the pictures.
On duty. Mess moved into the barracks. Not very busy in the wards. Germans surrendered in Northern Germany.
Up early packed left Zevan at 2. Arrived POW camp Sanbostal at 4pm. Had tea and went round wards. 1700 patients. Had a conference with MOs later about ward work.
Meeting with German sisters. On wards at 12 midday. 270 patients on my ward. Very, very busy. Not enough staff, food or equipment. Patients in an appalling condition, starved and dying. Heard late at night it was VE day the following day.
VE day hectically busy.
VE dinner but I wasn't there. Went back on ward. Had a glass of champagne later.
Better day, patients not calling out so much.
Pyjamas issued patients look more civilised.
Evacuation of patients began but we are still admitting from the camp.
Service to celebrate VE Day, Very short service but we were all very tired. About 30 there altogether.
Things improving a little but
German staff are going off sick. Girls for cleaning changed and new crowd arrived. Went for a walk after duty but was
Having some off duty. Service in the evening.
Win and I went to Rotenberg to 86th General Hospital with R.C. padre from 3CCS. We had a good welcome. Stayed to tea and visited the wards. I had a sore throat and didn't feel too good when we got back
Service in the evening, I played the organ.
Day off. Up at 12.30 Padre Kyne took Esther, Paddy, Win and I on a picnic, sunbathed and had tea. Afterwards went to Zeedorf to see Highland Div playing the Retreat. Very effective in their kilts.
Evacuated last of our patients this AM. Cleared everything from the wards, equipment not returned we burnt outside the ward. Said goodbye to the German Sisters, girls and the POWs.
Left at 10.30am. Win and I travelled with 2 military officers a Canadian and a Pole. Had lunch at Stade and ride in a super car. Arrived Cuxhaven 5.30pm very windswept. Had supper and looked at the sea. Slept in real beds with electricity and hot water.
Driving lesson from Canadian, drink at the club. Pm went to yachting club had picnic on the way. Had a row on the river. Came back and changed for dinner which we had a the club. Joined a party there some singing and dancing.
Went to HDs officers mess. An officer came to tea and arranged to take us horse riding the following day.
Played deck tennis in the morning. It rained in the afternoon. Win and I went for a walk on the beach in our bare feet. Very pleasant walk.
Went riding on the moors a very pleasant evening.
Very stiff from horse riding. Went for a walk with
MOs to German gun site found tin hats. Singing on the way back.
Parade service in men's dining hall. All the unit there. Service at night in a canteen in Cuxhaven.
Celebration of 10CC's arrival in Normandy. The boys had a dinner. We sisters and officers waited on them. Speeches and concert afterwards.
A picnic with Alistair and Bert in the afternoon. A nice sunny day.
A long walk in the afternoon back by the sea and over a mine field. Deck tennis and a walk with the MOs after supper.
A walk on the beach in the morning.
Raining most of day. Had our photograph taken in Cuxhaven in the afternoon. Evening went to a service in the canteen.
Began packing as we are moving on Monday. Went for a walk in pm
Service at men's quarters in the morning. Afternoon went for a walk with Alistair and Bert. Evening service and tea down at the HD club in the town. Said goodbye to all the boys.
Left Cuxhaven at 9am. Had coffee near Bremen at 11. At 1pm had a meal near Hanover on the roadside. Arrived at Gandersheim 5pm. Had a walk round the grounds and got our room together.
Found our way around the hospital. I am on the medical ward.
The hospital opened at 12noon, no patients.
Went bathing, a very warm day. In the evening went into the town with Win and Padre Winloss. Went to a very old church. I played the organ and Win pumped it.
Service in the hospital chapel.
Half day for the week today
Heard we are posted to 81 general. So had a half day to pack.