Elizabeth (Liz) Srogi (née James)

Joined 1959

Murton Colliery Combined Cadet Division

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Black and white photograph of two young girl Cadets in uniform standing side by side on a playing field.
Nursing Cadets Elizabeth James (left) and Brenda Hodgkiss on duty at a village carnival, Murton, County Durham, 1963 Image courtesy of Liz Srogi
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I wore a grey dress with black buttons with St John, with the Maltese Cross on them, with short sleeves. I had both short sleeves and long sleeves. But equally as much, we also wore white frillies. And our hats were a square of white material with the badge in the middle of one side. And it’s hard not to do it with, to describe, in that it went round your head. You didn’t have much hair showing because that would have been not really acceptable. And they were very difficult to put together. You needed about six hair grips and three safety pins because you pinned bits up on the variety of them. That was certainly my initial ones.

People would speak to you. You had an identity and you felt somewhat important in the village. You were a bit superior to the rest of the kids who were around, in all honesty. And because people would – even as a junior Cadet, the young Cadet, people would come up and ask you to do things, “Oh, she’s a Cadet. She’ll be fine.” So it was something to be proud of.

Excerpt courtesy of Liz Srogi