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Edna Lucy Craven CMH Aldershot 1941
Biography of Sister Edna Lucy Craven who saw service throughout the Second World War in Britain, India and the Far East.
Pictured on the right is Lucy Edna Craven relaxing on the lawn with a picnic at the Cambridge Military Hospital in 1941.
She saw service almost entirely in India and the Far East. She was later to work as a civilian theatre sister at BMH Singapore in 1953 when her husband was there. There is a photo of her with a blood donor at BMH Alexandra Hospital Singapore. Her husband served in the Royal Signals, though little is known about his career because the files have possibly been restricted by the MOD.
Little is known about Lucy prior to the age of 17 years. She was born in July 1920 in Wolverhampton to James Craven, an Engineer.
She trained as a student nurse at the hospital at Kendal, Westmoreland. After qualifying as a nurse, she reversed her names to Edna Lucy. She made friends with a local girl also training at the hospital. This girl's parents pretty much adopted her, to the extent that the husband, a prominent local businessman, loaned her and her future husband the money for their first house. She referred to them, to third parties, as her parents and professed, when asked, to coming from Kendal. Her son, Christopher Nation, always knew them as Auntie Annie and Uncle Harry.
She then served in the QA's where she met her future husband on a troopship returning to Britain. He had been transferred to the Indian Corps of Signals for Independence and Partition. Lucy is thought to have already been on board for weeks, from Sumatra or Singapore or Ceylon. She claimed to be friends with the Bandaranaike family, including the woman who became PM.
The change of surname on marriage in 1948 and Army life made her pretty much untraceable to her family, should they have wanted to, in the confusion that must have existed after the war.
To add to her mystery, five years later, she was in Singapore with her husband and four-year-old Christopher who recalls the usual Army merry go round kept the trail well covered. I have an identity card first registered one week after my birth. By the time I was 10 months old, two further change of address boxes had been filled in. My mother was of an implacable nature in some aspects of life. Her determination to 'delete' her history prior to appearing in Kendal was set in stone and never wavered.
She returned to nursing when we got to Singapore in 1953, at BMH Queen Alexandra. She continued in Germany when my father was posted to BAOR, working in an Army hospital.
When my father was posted to the War Office, as was, we lived in Sevenoaks. She worked as a dental nurse for a local private practitioner. She loved that and started badgering me to become a dentist.
When they bought their first house - in Kendal - my father moved to the mess at Woolwich and my mother became the matron at Kendal High School for girls.
On returning to Catterick (where I was born) for the final posting of his Army career, my mother was sister i/c the Family and 8th Signal Regiment clinic. They bought a house in Richmond, Yorks.
She continued for some years after my father 'came out' aged 50 (though he took the same job as a Civil Servant until retirement at 65. All they had to do was change the plate on his office door. All he had to do was hang up his uniform and put on a suit).
At some point during this time she had a heart attack, though she denied it. Around this time she retired. I was making my way in London, so not on hand to see for myself.
So, QA nurse Lucy Edna Craven, later Edna Lucy and Sister and then Sister, Mrs Nation QA, had an interesting life, as most QAs of the period must have done. But the first 17 years are shrouded in mystery.
Her QA cape is on display at the Museum of Military Medicine.
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My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.
Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.
I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.
The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:
"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."
Buy the Paperback.
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.
For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.
Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.
Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.
Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?
The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.
Buy the Paperback.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.
This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
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