” I was living with my sister Sylvia with Mr and Mrs Hind, a wonderful old couple but when Mrs Hind became ill in1943 we went to live at the Children’s Hostel (Chorleywood House)
I was a bad asthmatic and during a month long attack Matron had me sleep in a room across from her with a fire in the grate day and night to keep out the damp air and had ‘Nanny’ sleep in the same room at night. She put Kaolin poultices on my chest each day and this was when she had 50 other children to think about.
Every weekday we could not leave the school until we had been inspected fir tidy hair, corrected and mended clothing – Nanny would be doing darning and repairs then we would have sweet ( candy) or two if Dan Brady had visited and collected a month’s ration from every airforce person at his airbase.
Mary saw to it that no child went without a gift at Christmas and Birthday and would organize the older girls to make dolls and dolls’ clothes for the rag bag,
Nanny took care of the girls’ bathroom at night and Mary the boys.
Grace was said before every meal to which we were summoned by clanging two metal tops of fire extinguishers. The meals were always adequate and plates had to be clean before leaving the table.
Each child had to follow their own religious persuasion. The Jewish children were sent to their services on Saturdays and ate only their prescribed foods during Passover, Catholic children attended their services and protestants went to the local church which was also a school for local children – not evacuees.
Mary instilled high moral standards in all of us. When I think back now she really had a tremendous task with 30 to 50 children of ages ranging from 4yrs to 14 yrs
Many suffered with chilblains and wore fur lined boots on cold damp days.
As a child of 9yrs I saw Mary as a beautiful dark haired lady, I was so surprised 40 years later to visit her in Montrel and see this dear white haired lady who remembered so much and still thought of us as her children.
Lena (Anderson), Michigan, USA”