The Red Cross Detachment

The Watton Detachment of the Red Cross was formed in October 1931 with Mrs. Boag as Com­ mandant. She was succeeded by Miss Blomfield who was Commandant for over 30 years. Following three emergencies in the town early in 1943 when there was no ambulance available to convey the patients to the Norwich Hospital, Miss Blomfield asked the County Authorities if an ambulance could be stationed at Watton. Being informed that there was no chance of this, a meeting was convened at which an Ambulance Committee was formed with Miss Blomfield being appointed Ambulance Of­ ficer and Percy Fisher secretary. Within a year sufficient money was raised by various events and public subscriptions to purchase an Ambulance for the town and this was delivered in March 1944.

The Red Cross instituted a Medical Loan Service for the town in 1946. By 1948 sufficient money was raised in the town to buy the first Red Cross Trailer for Norfolk. This had been specially designed by Mrs Coryn, one of the members, and her husband and was first used at Snetterton Race Track. With the help of Messrs G. Elsegood, R. Durrant, J. Kittell and A. Peeke-Vout, the Red Cross Detachment constructed a Model Hospital, fitted out in every detail and it was on display at the Royal Norfolk Show at Anrner Park in 1950 and visited by Her Majesty the Queen, who also in­ spected the Red Cross Trailer. Officers and members of the Detachment formed a Guard of Honour for Her Majesty and Miss Blomfield and Mrs Coryn were presented to her.

Following the disastrous floods at Cley in 1953 where the Detachment did heroic work, Miss Blom­field received a commendation from the King and also the Red Cross Badge of Honour and Life Membership. Mrs E. M. Farrell, a founder member who served as Quarter Master, secretary and treasurer until 1972 was also presented with a Certificate of Commendation. Sadly, the Red Cross Trailer was vandalised in 1976, but the Round Table kindly replaced it with a fully equipped caravan and Mrs Sadd, the Commandant, was presented with the key for it the same year. In 1980 Mrs Rachel Sadd received the Red Cross Badge of Honour and Life Membership for her long and devoted service, over 40 years. Mrs Mary Riches, who was assistant Commandant until 1984 was presented with a Certificate of Commendation the same year. The present Commandant is Mrs Irene Parrott and Mrs Sadd is now the Centre Organiser,

Watton Detachment of the Red Cross, No. 42. Miss Blomfield, the Commandant, is second from the left and Mrs R. Sadd on the extreme right of the front row.

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