"I was in the burn ward, and we got mostly the Armoured Corps. boys. Our patients I must say were wonderful young men, and they were so grateful for anything we were able to do for them."
My name is Ruth Muggeridge - maiden name was Prier - and I was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario, the 23rd of June 1919.
In May of 1944 we left to go overseas. We landed in Liverpool and they played ‘Oh, Canada,’ which was very appropriate for us. We loved it. And we went by train across England to Farnborough, where we replaced No. 8 Canadian General Hospital who were going out to Italy. It was an old British military hospital because Aldershot was close by, which has always been the main military training program for the British personnel. Some stated that Florence Nightengale had done some of her nursing there. Now, whether that’s true or not, I don’t know.
We were there as a base hospital until D-Day when they switched our status to a casualty clearing station, and we received the wounded personnel from hospital trains – one after midnight, and one at around three o’clock in the morning – and there were about three hundred or so wounded personnel on each train, so we were all kept very, very busy.
I was in the burn ward, and we got mostly the Armoured Corps. boys. Our patients I must say were wonderful young men, and they were so grateful for anything we were able to do for them. One of our big plusses was the fact that we had penicillin, and it made a big difference in the amount of infection that would turn up in the different type of wounds. We were very fortunate to have it available to our military service, as there was none available to the civilian hospitals in Canada until after the war.
I went as a reinforcement with three or four other nurses to Europe. I was sent Ghent in Belgium at No. 2 Canadian General, and I worked there for several months, and then re-posted to Nijmegen, No. 1 Canadian General Hospital. It was there that we really had the effects of an occupied country brought to our attention. The Dutch people were wonderful, but they had a really rough eight years of occupation by the Germans, and everybody looked very gaunt and frail. They were grateful for anything we could help them with.
I was there until the war was over. We came home in February of 1946. Came back to England, and then posted home. I stayed in the Army for six months, and then resigned my commission to be married in 1948.