Sketch by Jack Chalker

Nurse Sam Purvis

Playing ball

In 1939 I decided to leave professional football as I was 22 years old.  Not yet hitting the headlines, my thoughts turned to my long-term future.  Essentially I wanted something that, in my retirement, would keep my family ( if I was to have one) in fairly good financial circumstances.

I travelled around Watford, with football as my sole credentials.  Finally I decided to become a Nurse for a Mental Hospital.  The greatest incentive, after all the interviews I had, was a pension.  This was to be two-thirds of my wages on retirement at sixty-five.

Medically examined, and all my particulars clearly understood, I began my new career on the 1st of June 1939 at Leavesden Hospital.  This, I had arranged months before my football contract had expired and before the retaining list was printed.

At the end of the season I went home to see my mother and father to spend a few weeks with them before I returned to the hospital in Leavesden near Watford.  After a couple of weeks, I wondered if I had made the right decision.  Always I had been taught throughout my life – to do my best.  And so, I was well equipped to wander on Life’s way.

War broke out in September 1939.  The Hospital had a good football team, and I was known as Nurse Sam Purvis.



Skipper of the 197th



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[Mister Sam] [Kick Off] [Nurse Sam Purvis] [Skipper of the 197th] [SS Washington] [Empress of Asia] [Singapore] [Singapore Hospital] [Road to Changi] [Welcome to Changi] [Shanty Town] [Selerang] [A Good Jap] [Walking Dead] [Kranji] [Timberyard] [The Last Post] [Setting of Rising Sun] [Acknowledgement] [The Last Laugh] [The Quest]


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