Incidents and case studies ashore 12 - Improving the fitness of new recurits, 1940s

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Cynthia CookeCynthia Cooke

Service: 1943 - 1976

Rate: Matron-in-Chief QARNNS

Cynthia joined the QARNNS in 1943 as a Registered General Nurse. During the Second World War, she worked at RNH Haslar and HMS Collingwood, the latter during D-Day preparations. After the war she served on HMS Formidable and was involved in collecting ex-POWs from Japanese prison camps. She later became a Nurse Tutor teaching at RNH's Plymouth, Hong Kong and Malta. From 1973 until her retirement in 1976 she was Matron-in-Chief QARNNS.

Listen to Cynthia's experiences with new recruits during the Second World War.

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Extract Text (Duration 0.43)

It was hard work because all these new entries came in, really Gorbals diehards, you know, from Glasgow and places, never seen a doctor or a dentist.  And they had to be made medically and dentally fit before they went... well they were medically fit before they were entered.  But they worked hard on their teeth [laughs] and... before they were drafted you see, they were there I suppose six or eight weeks and then they went off.  And I hadn't been there long when there was a bomb on one of the huts that they were housed in and 18 of these lads were killed, and they weren't even kitted up.  It was dreadful, dreadful.

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