Routines ashore 10 - Officers surgical ward

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Julia Massey 1968Julia Massey

Service: 1968 - 1996

Rate: Captain

Julia Massey joined the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in July 1968 and worked at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, a number of medical facilities in Malta, RNH Plymouth, HMS Pembroke and RNH Hong Kong.  In 1982, she was part of the nursing team embarked on SS Uganda for the Falklands War and during the Gulf War she was responsible for allocating nurses to RFA Argus.  In 1994 she was involved with the Defence Cost Studies Report which led to the closure of the RN Hospitals, the establishment of tri-service training and the reduction of the QARNNS by nearly a half.

Discover what the nurses dispensed to the officers during evening drugs rounds

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Extract Text (Duration 1.18)

26 patients from Midshipmen right through to retired Admirals, so it was a great age group.  And we used to have to... when they went to theatre, put them in a lift having had their pre-med, down in the lift, outside, into an ambulance, across the grounds of Haslar, in, to get to the operating theatre and they had to make this return journey.  Hmmm, at the time we accepted it, I don't think we thought it was too odd, but nowadays looking back on it, I'm horrified really.  One of the interesting things as well, that was very different, is the fact that in those days that the sailors were allowed a beer ration, and on the officers ward they were allowed to have their tot of gin, brandy or whiskey, and for the younger officers, beer.  And when I used to give out the drugs at about five o'clock in the evening, in my drug trolley I had these little trays and little carafes and glasses to give out the appropriate drink to the officers.  Which they thoroughly enjoyed.

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