Poem for a nurse – Haslar Royal Navy Hospital – WWII

Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D Day Landings.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my Mother was a young VAD/Red Cross nurse working at the Haslar Royal Navy Hospital in Gosport, Portsmouth. 

She remember the 24 hours preceding the actual D Day invasion….All the nurses were told that everything had to  be ready….but they weren’t told at the time for what.  What’s amazing is that no one leaked information….everyone was working together!

When the many casualties were brought in to the hospital, they were ready.

Here is a photograph of my Mother taken at that time…. 21 years old.

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My Mother’s VAD card…..

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Three years ago, after my Mother had been moved to a nursing home,   I spent several months clearing her house.     I found many treasures, and amongst those was this poem, written to my Mother by a young patient in the Haslar Hospital.

The paper is very flimsy but the message lives on….I wonder what ever happened to Eric R. Gurney?

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We tend to forget that those on the front line were beautiful, oh so very young people…fighting for the common cause, of peace and freedom.

I will be visiting my Mother this morning at the nursing home, and will take print outs of the poem to see if it jogs any memories.

A Bientôt


13 thoughts on “Poem for a nurse – Haslar Royal Navy Hospital – WWII

  1. Suzy Davidson

    That’s a beautiful blog J – looking at your mother so lovely and fresh at 21 it’s easy to see why she was a muse! Hope she has a good day today x

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Suzy – I took the print outs into my Mother this morning, and I know she enjoyed them, but found it very difficult to remember. She couldn’t remember the young man who wrote the poem, but did say that there were others who sent her cards, and one that asked to marry her….wonderful isn’t it. Thinking of you and hoping that your baby is doing well after the op. xx

  2. First Night Design

    Your mother is beautiful. I was touched to read about how the soldier was inspired to write her a poem. My mother was also a VAD. I seem to remember that one of the soldiers asked her to marry him!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      That’s wonderful….I took the print outs into my Mother at her nursing home this morning, but she couldn’t remember any of the specifics…although did say that another young man had asked to marry her:) It’s so important for us to remember how much that generation did for us and our freedom. Thank you:)x

  3. snowbird

    Oh how lovely your mother looks….and how special to have all these marvelous reminders of the past. It’s so sad to think how adult young people had to be during the war isn’t it, and how so many died or were maimed so young, it must have been horrifying for them. Lovely post, sadly I can’t quite make out the poem….xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Yes, it’s really sad to think that so many young people were cut down in the prime….If you click on each image…you will be able to read the poem more easily…..I am so pleased that I was able to retrieve all these documents and papers when I cleared my Mother’s house….Have a beautiful weekend. xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      It’s so important to see our parents and those around us in many different lights….and for me this is such a poignant part of my Mother’s history. Thank you, Shimon:)x

  4. kathryningrid

    What a touching post. It seems young Mr. Gurney shared that common symptom of so many hospitalized wounded, a blushing admiration for his caring nurse. But, more than that, it’s clear from his words that your mother more than earned the respect and affection. How often has this tale been played out around the world! Never more sweetly or succinctly told, though, than in that soldier’s letter, or in the clear message of its effect on *her* shown by your mother’s keeping the letter all of these years. Truly moving. Thank you for sharing it! Your mother obviously made the world a better place, and not just by giving birth to and raising you. Though that accomplishment of hers remains foremost in *my* mind. 🙂

  5. janetweightreed10 Post author

    Good morning again Kathryn….what a beautiful comment…thank you so much. I am just so pleased and relieved that I was able to go through my parent’s house drawer by drawer. My Father has been dead for many years, however my Mother had lived in the same house for 60 years….and it was filled to the brim. It would have been so easy for this poem and many other poignant and important papers to have been lost…which I sure is what happens time and time again. Again, thank you:)x


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