Language selection


Remembering Her Patients

Heroes Remember

Remembering Her Patients

Well, I can remember one chap, he was a lieutenant, and I was on the neuro ward. The chaps coming in had some, had an injury either on one, one side of the brain or the other, and they'd, a lot, many times they'd go to the OR, sometimes we'd just get them in and they might die before that. But this chap had gone to the operating room and had one side of his brain patched up. And he came out and he stayed with us a little longer than usually at a CCS. Usually there probably one day, two. I think he stayed three or so. And he stayed a little longer. We either sent them, as I say, down the line or they went to Basingstoke, in England. He was British and he stayed, I guess they were, he couldn't go so soon. And we got, sort of, to, to know him a little bit and at first he didn't speak and at first, then he'd say, "Water," and, you know, we'd give him a drink. And then he'd say, "Water, please." And one day, I looked at him, I get kind of sad when I think of it, he said, "Water Sister, please," and a big smile come on his face. And I guess we stood there and did the same. There was a couple of us. But I don't know... He went back then. But I always think of it. Interviewer: And you never saw him again? Never saw him. No. He, I would say now, knowing what I know now, that he probably had a good chance at, they were, rehabilitating, whether it was that side or it must have been the side of talking that was damaged, that if they could work with it he had a good chance and he was healthy. He was healthy in other ways. Nice, nice young chap. Probably be 24 or 25. And I, I often wonder and I think, "My God, I wonder how that fellow, how he got along?" But, but that stays in my, my memory a lot.

Ms. Turner recalls one British soldier she had cared for at the Casualty Clearing Station in Belgium. Her memory of him still brings her to tears.

Lettie Turner

Ms. Turner was born on Christmas day in 1911. Before enlisting Ms. Turner first served with the Victorian Order of Nurses, followed by a short period as a public health nurse with the province of Nova Scotia. Ms. Turner enlisted in Halifax in 1942. She went on to take basic training in Debert, Nova Scotia, and was then posted to Halifax. She returned to Debert for further training before being posted overseas in 1944 at No. 20 Canadian Hospital near London. More training followed in Yorkshire and after D-Day she was posted to Belgium where she remained until the end of the war. In Belgium she nursed at a casualty clearing station. On her return to Canada after the war, Ms. Turner completed her nursing training, worked extensively in public health and eventually worked as a professor in universities in Canada and the United States.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lettie Turner
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Nursing Sister

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: