Time in Hospital

Ronald Leedham: Mum

Ronald Leedham was born in 1929 in India. His family moved back to England in 1931after Ronald contracted Polio. Ronald spent some years in Hospital as a young child after contracting Diptheria. When he was six he returned home to Catford for a short while to live with his father, eventually ending up living in ‘homes for crippled children’ run by the Shaftesbury Society, until he was sixteen.

Here Ron talks about being told of his mum’s death.


Well the last time I saw my mother was when she was in hospital and my dad was obviously in the throes of having to send me away and I can remember the last time I saw her was when my dad took me to see her, obviously to say goodbye and the last thing I remember about that is being taken down the ward with my mother screaming out that she wouldn't see me again, you know. Sort of, odds and ends like that. When she did die I was already in Carshalton Hospital.
I was there all over for two years, from the age of five until I was seven, just turned seven and I can remember the old man coming up and he gave me a train set. One of these things with a few rails in a circle and the engine, wind up key and the tender, this that and the other and I was playing with that and he said, 'Your mum's died, Ron' and I said, 'Has she?' It didn't mean a thing to me, didn't mean a thing to me because I hadn't had her around for so many years, I'd been in hospital, in the Dartford Hospital with the dip' (diphtheria) and in Carshalton and I had no contact.

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