Veteran Stories:
Margaret “Bev” Sarkissian (née Beveridge)

Army

  • Captain George Kitchen and Margaret Kitchen (née Beveridge) as newlyweds in England, on May 17, 1944.

    Margaret Sarkissian
  • Captain George Kitchen and Margaret Kitchen with friends in England, May 17, 1944.

    Margaret Sarkissian
  • George and Margaret Kitchen at a garden party at the converted manor, in England, 1943.

    Margaret Sarkissian
  • Employees of the hospital in Victoria, British Columbia at the Redbrick, 1942.

    Margaret Sarkissian
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"They didn’t get any treatment for the boys who’d had mental breakdowns. They had no one or nothing to look after them."

Transcript

We went down to Sussex [England], down by train and stayed there until they told us where to go. And in the meantime, I had got married. So if you were married, they wouldn’t allow you to go to the Continent [mainland Europe] in case you became pregnant. We knew that all the troops were banding together down in the right corner of England and my husband had gone down there. And we weren’t supposed to leave our hospital. But I went to say goodbye to my husband and anyway, I didn’t get caught because there was another girl called Margaret Beveridge and she was - they found her, that she was away and I hadn’t. So she was caught and I wasn’t.

I had many boys who were suffering from injury, many of them had [mental break]downs and we looked after them. They didn’t get any treatment for the boys who’d had mental breakdowns. They had noone or nothing to look after them. We did treat the other boys, we looked after them but I was really worried about the boys who had had mental breakdowns and the doctor said that some of them would get better and the rest of them would spend parts of their lives where they’d be in or out. My husband was one of those who, he was through terrible battles and he was one of the ones who suffered afterwards and he died at an early age.

But many of them went home in bags; parts of their bodies had been blown off and they couldn’t be sent back whole, you know, they weren’t whole, they went back in bags. And it was a very sad time because we knew the morning that they left, we heard all the planes overhead and we were close to the coast and we could hear all the battle and it was bad for the boys and bad for them getting out of the water and many of us were saying, their husbands had gone, my husband was one of the ones who’d gone over at the invasion [of Normandy].

We enjoyed the army until the invasion. And then we were, people were feeling very unhappy because they didn’t know what was happening to their relatives.

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