Edith AppletonEdith Appleton grew up in Deal in the family home at 9 Golden Street. It was a typically large Victorian family and her father, Edward, was a Trinity House Pilot guiding ships past the treacherous Goodwin Sands.

In the 1900s Edith known as Edie by the family began training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital followed by a career in nursing.  With WW1 looming she volunteered for Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve, arriving in France on 10 October 1914. During the next five years she served in many locations, often close to the front line. Throughout that time, she kept a detailed daily journal describing not only the horrors she experienced caring for wounded and dying men but also the ways in which she spent her time off duty, going for long walks, swimming in the sea and including many sketches of the scenery.

In 2007 Edie’s great nephew, Dick Robinson – with the help of two cousins, transcribed over 100,000 words of the diaries into a website and in 2012 an edited version was published by Simon & Schuster jointly with the Imperial War Museum (see http://anurseatthefront.org.uk/the-book/). Since then Dick and his wife have given over 80 illustrated talks about Edie all over the country.

Our thanks to Edie’s great nephew Dick Robinson for the article above.




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