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The Decision to go to East Grinstead

Heroes Remember

The Decision to go to East Grinstead

I made a friend down in Wiltshire.... he was a plane accident and that's how I became first interested in East Grinstead. So after that I thought, well I'd like to go to East Grinstead to see if I could help there and if not, whether I could stand it really to see these poor fellows terribly burnt, scarred. I was right in the operating room with Dr. McIndoe and his, he was a wonderful person, a wonderful person. It was such a wonderful feeling in the hospital. I can't explain and I don't suppose it will ever happen again or it will ever be allowed to happen again because, you know, it was so unusual. The men had their beer there and music and singing. They had a wonderful time, they had a wonderful time, and everybody in the village was told that they must not stare at them and so they did. They took them under their wings and, unfortunately, well they used to invite them out to tea but some of them didn't have fingers, you know, and in those days they didn't have zippers until Sir Archibald sent to America for the zippers for their trousers. He was a wonderful man, he was so wonderful. They all were; everybody was, it was a wonderful feeling, I can't tell you how different it was from hospital, ordinary hospital life.

Mrs. Mortimer tells of her decision to work as an operating room nurse alongside Dr. McIndoe at East Grinstead, all the time wondering if she could stand to care for such badly wounded patients in such a unique hospital environment.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Marion Mortimer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Operating Room Nurse

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