Series 1, Part 7 by Jill Hyem

First broadcast: Thursday 03 December 1981

June 1942. The women play rounders in order to raise their spirits. Sally is due to give birth in less than two months and Yamauchi is keen that the baby is born healthy for propaganda reasons. There are even hopes that he may agree her transfer to a Dutch hospital for the birth. The women are competing in a general knowledge quiz organised by Rose when Sally goes into labour. Marion pools meagre equipment for the delivery and now that Sally is going to give birth in Hut 1, arranges the necessary moves between huts. Beatrice is plagued by fears about the birth. Few of the women can sleep as Sally’s labour continues into the night. The baby is eventually delivered stillborn. Kate comforts a distressed Nellie. Marion suggests that Nellie moves into the same hut as Sally to help her get over it. Dorothy attempts to find some common ground with Sally, but is rebuffed. Sally confides in Nellie that she didn’t want the baby. Over the next few weeks Sally and Nellie grow closer and come to depend on each other more and more. Sally’s birthday is celebrated with presents, music and dancing. Dorothy begins to spread rumours that Sally and Nellie’s relationship is unnatural. Rose asks Kate about it, but she thinks it nonsense. Judith returns to the sick bay with another bout of malaria. At the meeting of the discipline committee, Madge brings up what she describes as the ‘unhealthy’ relationship between Nellie and Sally. Beatrice volunteers to have a word with Nellie and encourages her to put her nursing before her ‘extra-mural activities’. Sally is shocked to discover some graffiti describing her and Nellie as ‘filthy perverts’ and is disgusted by what is being suggested. Nellie decides to move back into Hut 2. Blanche confides in Rose that she’d prefer to be shot risking escape than slowly rot inside the camp.

About Andy Priestner

Consultant and trainer on user experience (UX) research and design, failure, leadership and LEGO Serious Play
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