Winifred Barber was born in Birmingham, England, in 1907. She was blessed with the ability of perfect recall of the details of her long life. At the age of 93 she made this recording of her friendship with a soldier who had been wounded in World War I, in 1916.
As the war progressed hospitals in Great Britain became unable to accommodate the rising numbers of wounded returning from the battles in France; to ease matters, the Government began requisitioning schools, turning them into temporary hospitals.
Winifred was delighted when her school was requisitioned because that meant she only had part-time schooling elsewhere; on one week she wold attend the new school in the mornings, and the next week in the afternoons.
She often filled her free time by taking walks with her brother in the countryside around Kings Heath, where she lived. On the way they would often stop a the railings of the playground of the requisitioned school, to talk to the men who had been pushed, in their beds, into the fresh air.
This the story of Winifred’s friendship with one of those soldiers, an American named Curly.