Irene Maude Selina BRAUDé (née DEACON) [1913-2010]

Submitted by Admin on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 15:00
Irene Maude Selina
Birthplace (town, state)
Birthplace (country)

Barbara Anslow:

Irene Braude was the head of the VADs

Connections: This person is ...

Photos that show this Person


From Mrs, Braude's contribution in "The Volunteer" Centenary number, 1954.

The Detachment was raised with the intention of augmenting the Military Hospital Staff, and later to relieve as many Nursing Orderlies of the RAMC as possible so that they might fill the ranks of the Field Ambulance, a regular Unit which was commanded by Col Ride during the war.  The success of such a scheme depended entirely on th efficient training of each and every member.  There was no scope for "learning on the job".  The initial problem was to enrol as many trained Nurses as possible.  These were drawn from ladies in the Colony who had married and given up the nursing profession.  Apart from the willingness of so many, this presented many problems.  First of all the arduous tasks that would be imposed on them in war.  Again, they had to undertake to remain in the Colony in the event of the evacuation of women in an emergency.  Lastly, they were required to devote many nights a week to the training of the untrained members of the Detachment.  The almost impossible was accomplished.  It was a great tribute to the nucleus and to Col Ride, who gave up so much time in lecturing, that the war found them all trained, holding St John's Ambulance Certificates, and having had considerable full-time experience in actual hospital duties at Bowen Road.  

Upon the outbreak of war,the Detachment was mobilised, and immediately took up duties in the British Military Hospital.  Almost at once a group was required to move into a planned auxiliary hospital at St Albert's Convent, Stubbs Road, or as it is now better known Rosary Hill.. On the 18th December 1941 another group was moved out to St Stephen's College, Stanley, which had been turned into a relief hospital for East Brigade.  On the 21st December it was found necessary to open up another relief hospital in the Hongkong Hotel, to deal with the large number of casualties that were pouring in from the lower areas.  This latter hospital did not close down until the 19th January, long after the fighting had finished.

Of the war there is so much to tell;  of the superb individual courage in adversity;  of the bombing of the hospitals, and the casualties.  Our first casualties occurred at Rosary Hill Hospital when a QAIMNS Sister was killed and one of our VADs was wounded.    Then came the deaths of Dr G D R Black, a Volunteer transferred to the RAMC, who commanded the Stanley Military Hospital, and VADs Begg, Buxton and Smith.  And finally the Stanley tragedy, which should surely shame our erstwhile enemies.

After the fighting came internment and after a long time - freedom.

The Nursing Detachment of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps was represented at the Victory Parade In London in June 1946.  As we marched with the rest of them through the streets of London our thoughts were with the best of them, and the heavy rain coursing down our faces helped to disguise our real feelings of sorrow and pride.