Freda Pickard

Joined 1942

Dewsbury Cadet Nursing Division, West Yorkshire

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Black and white photograph of a young woman looking directly at the camera. She wears a nursing Cadet uniform including a white nursing cap and white cuffs.
Nursing Cadet Freda Pickard, c.1944 Image courtesy of Freda Pickard
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The war was on, in 1942, and the war was on, and so we were encouraged to join an organisation, and if we didn’t we would be directed to join something. So I saw it in the paper that the Nursing Cadets was going to be formed in Dewsbury. I didn’t know – I knew that there was the ambulance people, but then there was nothing about the youngsters. And so two of us went on the Saturday afternoon. They didn’t want us meeting in the night-time because of the air raids, and it was a blackout you see, things were blacked out. So we met on the Saturday afternoon, and that’s how I found out about the St John.

Well I always wanted to go nursing. And my mother had a poor experience in the First World War with her friends who went nursing, and she couldn’t forget that. So she said, no I couldn’t go nursing. So I obeyed. You did in those days, you didn’t object. And so then when the Nursing Cadets were formed, I thought, well I’m still at home, so I joined. I think she thought I was going to be sent abroad. My father joked and said, “It will do her good.”

Excerpt courtesy of Freda Pickard