Jean Davey (née Reed)

Joined 1946

Preston Nursing Cadet Division, West Sussex

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Blurred black and white photograph showing three Nursing Cadets seated in deckchairs at the bottom of a staircase onto a busy promenade. Behind them stands a man in a suit. The Cadets all wear grey knee length dresses with white nursing caps and white cuffs at their elbows.  
Nursing Cadets (Jean Reed centre) on First Aid duty at Brighton Beach Hut, summer 1950 Image courtesy of Jean Davey
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Well, I had a friend, you know, in a class and she used to talk about it and she said, “Why don’t you come along?” You know, you sort of think – I was very – I wasn’t very pushy or anything, you know, I might not like it and she said, “Just come along and see.” I enjoyed it. I loved bandaging people up. You know, there was a lot of – in those days there’s a lot of bandaging to do and these long splints that, my goodness me, what did you do? When you were doing these broken legs, these splints had to go either side and these bandages had a proper sequence that you had to put them on, you know. You just didn’t shove one round and just go down the leg. It all had to be done in a strict order and everything. So because I enjoyed it and then, you know, I went and passed the sort of different exams that you have to do and the ones for the Grand Prior for the different subjects. When I look now and I think, my goodness, you know, you done sort of housecraft, I think it was, and you had to iron something and then the examiner would come along and say, “How did you iron this? What did you iron first?” The washing up, you had to do the glass first and then the silver. I mean, nobody’s got any silver nowadays and, you know, when I’m washing up now sometimes I think glass first. I just think I wonder how somebody devised these subjects that, you know, you had to do and I suppose they were important in those days. I don’t know!

Excerpt courtesy of Jean Davey