Susan Brockett's story

We had the pleasure of talking with 'queen of the pub' Susan Brockett this week, as she was discharged from the Hospice following a three week stay with us for Symptom control.

Susan grew up in Margate before the war, where here dad owned a pub until the Luftwaffe started to visit during the Battle of Britain.

She remembers being shot at by a ‘Jerry’ not once but twice! The first time was on the way to the shelter with her dad and sister in Margate. She remembers the bullets being everywhere as they headed for the cliffs where there was a cave dug into the cliffs for safety. They made a game of running for it in the quickest time - frightening though it was.

Soon after that she was evacuated to Yorkshire. There, aged just 18, she started her first job - learning how to make fuses for shells and bombs, operating a lathe in a munitions factory for the next 3 years.

One day, walking home from work 'Jerry' came for her again. The plane turned upon seeing her and stooped to strafe the road she was on. She leapt into a nearby ditch where there were thick hedges to disguise where she was. Terrified as she was she went back in to the factory the very next day.

When peace was declared in Europe (VE Day 8th May 1945) Susan was filmed by the BBC at the cenotaph live leading a message of remembrance, then again years later the BBC returned to talk about her war experiences in her own home.

After the war she went to stay with her Grandma who also had a pub in London and soon met her husband. A loving partnership that would last over six decades and yielding two beautiful boys Keith and Paul. They would first meet as she worked in an automobile factory:

“I made the jets for the carburetors in the automobile factory where he worked downstairs, I would pass them down and he would test them on the assembly line and that was that.

I will miss all the nurses here terribly, they’ve all been so lovely to me, such sweet people. The flowers have been so fresh every day.” - Susan Brockett