I started this blog to let the family know, especially the women and girls of the Tomkinson family, how my Great Aunt Joyce was very well regarded by the members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD, who had been trained in first aid and home nursing) who worked for her at Tusmore Park, Oxfordshire during the second World War II.
The staff of an auxiliary hospital included a commandant (who was in charge of the hospital, but not the medical and nursing services), a quartermaster, a matron and members of the local VADs. One of these was Helen Tomkinson, Aunt Joyce’s niece. Medical care was provided voluntarily as needed by the local doctors. Discipline was less strict in the smaller hospitals than in a military hospital and the surroundings more homely. Aunt Joyce was the commandant and she known to be a very bold huntswoman.
The nurses wrote to Aunt after they left Tusmore and the bundle of their letters passed to my father, Bay Hodgson, on her death in the early 1980s. At some point he gave this bundle to his first cousin, Bridget Dickinson. She sent these to me last year.
It’s my first blog attempt and I’m teaching myself so it will not be perfect. However, the transcription done by my sister Emma is first rate. I read the letters aloud and we tussled over difficult words together.
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