Once they arrived in Britain, young candidates were dispersed to their appointed hospitals all over the United Kingdom. Some were met at the train station, but many had to find their own way, dressed more for the sunshine they had left behind than the cold and grey weather and bracing winds they now encountered.
The new trainees lived in the Nurses’ Homes attached to the hospitals and worked alongside other Colonial trainees. They provided an important support network for each other, as many felt isolated and far away from home. ‘When anyone new came and brought food, the girls got together, sitting on the floor, [or] anywhere like a big family. We would eat whatever, dividing it up between all of us.
At that time, there were few Black people in Britain, particularly in smaller towns. As a result, many nurses moved to large centres like London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol, with existing Caribbean, Asian and African populations.