Doris Pullen

Photo:Doris Pullen in 1936.

Doris Pullen in 1936.

Doris Pullen

Photo:Doris Pullen returning from Egypt in 1935.

Doris Pullen returning from Egypt in 1935.

Doris Pullen

Photo:Doris Pullen as a VAD nurse in 1939.

Doris Pullen as a VAD nurse in 1939.

Doris Pullen

Photo:Doris Pullen in 1939.

Doris Pullen in 1939.

Doris Pullen

Life as a VAD Nurse

Doris Pullen talks about her time as a VAD Nurse.

Evacuation

Doris Pullen talks about leaving London with her children.

Wartime memories of life as a VAD nurse and a mother.

When war was declared in 1939 Doris was already familiar with the demands of life in the service of one’s country. Her father had been in the RAF for some 30 years and had been posted abroad many times. Doris recalls 'we knew the war was coming… My father came home on leave and he would say he felt sure we would be at war...'

Voluntary Aid Detachment

Just 18 and newly married, Doris quickly joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) and took work with the Red Cross, initially in hospitals near to where her husband – who had by this time joined the RAF – was stationed. According to her husband and her brother, the RAF was better than the 'PBI ...the Poor Bloody Infantry!'

Evacuation

Doris describes the challenges of bringing up her young family at the height of war.  For a while she swapped life dominated by terrifying bombing raids affecting her home in Newlands Park in London for rural Wales. However, rural life with young children brought its own challenges and before long Doris was back in the capital 'because it was easier to come home and deal with the bombings…'

Author

In this recording we get a glimpse of another side to Doris – as a prolific correspondent and a successful author. She describes compiling her 'wartime memory book', made up of stories of war from a variety of sources, including servicemen with whom she corresponded. Doris recalls of her book 'I did sell quite a lot…I could have sold a lot more but I couldn’t in the end handle the sales any more…'                          

Downloads

Interview with Doris Pullen
Interview with Doris Pullen (210k)
To read the full transcript of Doris's interview please press the above link.

Life as a VAD Nurse
Life as a VAD Nurse (75k)
Transcript of audio clip with Doris Pullen.

Evacuation
Evacuation (74k)
Transcript of audio clip with Doris Pullen.

This page was added by Sarah Macri on 10/03/2012.

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