The homeward journey. Notes relating to the article.

On the outward journey I had enjoyed the excitement and adventure of going ashore when the ship docked and I was looking forward to doing the same on the return voyage. Regrettably this was not to be so due to the specialist care needs of our spinal injuries patient each team member was only permitted shore leave once and for me this was at Hong Kong. Our last port of call, before arriving in the UK, was Gibraltar on the 11th January, and then we docked at Southampton on 16th January 1954.

As the years have gone on I have often wondered how those men, who passed through our hands during the time (Dec 52 to Dec 53) that I was at BCGH, are getting on? Also the young man with the spinal injury, which I helped to nurse on his return to the United Kingdom. The broken bones, the scarred tissue from burns and wounds will have, in the main, healed, but what of the emotional trauma that these men might still be suffering. I don’t know, for during the time, which has passed, I have not had the good fortune to meet or hear from any patient from that time.

In closing I make a number of points: -

•National Service in the RAMC led me, on discharge, to undertake my General Nurse training. Yet in future years I never quite had the same level of experience that I did in my one year at BCGH.

•Mrs Jill McNair QARANC (served at BCGH 1952 – 1953) informed me that the hospital (BCGH) is now a very modern Japanese hospital (National Kure Hospital). For me it was good to know that some 47 years on it is still a hospital where every effort is made to restore the sick and injured to full health. I trust this will continue well into this new millennium.

•My experience of Japan and its culture was very much helped by the kindness of Miss Hisae Kasai and I am pleased that we still keep in touch.

•I am pleased to recall the following persons (in addition to those mentioned above) from my time at Kure. Syd Francis (RAMC and co-worker in the Operating Theatre), Roy Siddle (RAMC/OTT), Robert Davenport (RAMC/OTT), Albert Richmond (RAMC/OTT), Arthur Bate (ACC), Lt Sutherland (QA), Margaret Drigwall (QA), Nancy Dentith (QA), Ruth Carter (RAANC), Kathleen Adams (RAANC), Mr Kunifumi Sasaki and Miss Toshiko Tekashita (Kure Residents).

David Oates

1. Layout of the operating theatre suite provided by Syd Francis (RAMC, OTT).
2. See Miss Ruth Stone’s (QARNNS) article entitled “Nursing aboard HMHS Maine” in the book “British Forces in
the Korean War” edited by Ashley Cunningham-Boothe and Peter Farrar.
3. Ken Hodge RAMC served at BCGH 1953 to 1954 in the Medical Records Section.
4. See Gillian McNair’s (QARANC) “Letters from Seoul” from the book “British Forces in the Korean War”.
5. Information provided by Professor Takeshi Chida, Chief Editor of the History of Kure.