Incidents and case studies ashore 2 - "...chubby Chiefs section" 1980s

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Evelyn Williams 1980Evelyn Williams

Service: 1961 - 1990

Rate: Principal Nursing Officer

Evelyn Williams trained as a nurse and midwife before joining the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in April 1961. During her QARNNS career she worked at Royal Naval Hospitals Haslar, Plymouth, Malta and Gibraltar and also at HMS Raleigh, HMS Goldcrest, HMS Terror in Singapore, HMS Neptune and RM Deal. After becoming a Nurse Tutor she became involved in the training of both nurses and Medical Assistants and her final appointment was to the staff of Surgeon Commodore Naval Medical Training before her retirement in 1990.

Listen to Evelyn describe some of the common problems she dealt with in the naval hospitals.

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Extract Text (Duration 1.13)

We seemed to have a lot of back problems, I used to have what I used to call ‘my chubby Chief section' which were usually some rather overweight Senior Rates with quite severe back problems.  In fact several of them went on and had to have fusions.  Knees were always a big problem, this of course I was told, although I didn't have any first hand experience of this, was due to the various ladders and that that they went up and down onboard the ships.  We also used to get in quite a lot of Royal Marine juniors who were musicians, because one of the things of the side drum of a Junior Musician is the fact that it knocks again the patella and quite a lot of them used to get problems with their patella's for this reason.  Other than that, they were nearly always things like motorbike accidents, car accidents, and on occasion boating accidents, particularly for chaps who'd been onboard ships abroad.  Hmmm, occasionally it was because they had had imbibed too much alcohol and they'd had an accident and of course always the risk of people falling down hatches onboard ships and submarines.

Only case of syphilis, 1960s

3.07 mins - mp3 File

Alcohol abuse

1.39 mins - mp3 File

Explosion on HMS Indomitable

1:25 mins - mp3 File

Incident as a patient

1.37 mins - mp3 File

Sunburnt submariner

0.47 mins - mp3 File

Chubby Chiefs section

1.13 mins - mp3 File

Surprise delivery at Lossiemouth

0.50 mins - mp3 File