Sidney & Laura Collingwood

We are grateful to Nick who has sent us this information on Laura and Sidney and we are proud to display this tribute to the both of them. For those of us who never knew the terror of War it is a lovely little story, Laura toiling away tending the wounded and injured during the Blitz on Hull and Sidney after marrying his bride is sent off to North Africa and Italy as part of the 8th Army (Desert Rats) and didn’t return for 4 years. This is their story and their pictures.


Laura in 1941 was a member of the First Aid Station at Sutton and her memories of those years under the blitz in Hull are still vivid. May 8th/9th 1941 were the worst nights that Hull suffered during the Blitz, the City lost almost all its prestigious buildings and the casualty list was high. She remembers sitting in the air raid shelter listening to the bangs and explosions and buildings collapsing for hours on end.  It was Laura and her colleague’s job to render first aid to the city’s population during the Air Raids and her thoughts were always “who will you find, will you know who comes in next.” Laura was only 17 years old when she first volunteered for work at the Guildhall and was enrolled as an assistant, she had done first aid in the Girl Guides but was told that she was too young but they allowed her to fill water bottles.

She married Sidney in 1941 and just weeks after the Wedding Sidney was shipped off and served in North Africa and Italy and did not return until the war was over, more than 4 years later.

The following pictures are of the First Aid Centre Staff, some have the backdrop of Sutton Church as the first Aid Centre was based in the old School. The first picture is of the girls all in tin hats


This one with the Church as a backdrop.

Laura sat above the Girls


A lovely Picture here of Sidney and Lauras wedding Day, a few short weeks after Sidney was sent to North Africa not to return for another 4 years.


A lovely picture of Laura, probably sent to Sidney judging by the caption

Sidney on the right as part of the Desert Rats

Sidney 2nd on the left

Sidney kneeling centre

Sidney somewhere in the desert