Medical resources 70 years apart

My father, James (Jim) Kennard had a small coal and haulage business before the War and when I became 17 in 1943, I worked in the family business driving one of the lorries delivering coal and any haulage that came our way.

One day in the Autumn of ‘43 my job was to load hop pokes from a farm near Brede and take them to a depot in London. But due to their size and light weight, the load finished at the height of a double decker bus and it was from this height that I fell, landing on my back, as I was told later, onto the rough farm track.

The Rye ambulance was alerted but would not start so my father towed it round the town to get it going; it finally arrived and I was taken to the East Sussex County Hospital in Hastings where I received treatment and a very uncomfortable plaster cast from hips to under arm, for a fractured spine.

Discharged about 18 days later, walked down the hill to the Memorial and caught an East Kent bus home, a trivial incident compared to what was going on elsewhere.

Fast forward 69 years and the country is in debt to the tune of trillions of pounds, when a van leaves the road at Fairlight and crashes into a building, the incident is attended by two fire engines and a fire rescue vehicle, an ambulance and paramedic car, a number of police cars, an unspecified number of personnel and an air ambulance that due to poor visibility, had to land some considerable distance from the scene.

In each incident described, there was only one casualty needing assistance and many will wonder how patrols in the area can be stepped up after the shooting incident at Rye Harbour, when resources are so badly deployed.

Maybe the new Police Commissioner will make a difference but as he/she is likely to be a failed council executive or Parliamentary candidate I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Harry Kennard

Peasmarsh