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Literary event – Joyce’s War

Rhiannon Evans gave us an amazing talks about how she found her mother’s war journals and turned them into a book.  Her mother Joyce Ffoulkes Parry was a Queen Alexandria nurse during WW2 and travelled via ship to Africa, the Middle East and India to tend the wounded.   The journals not only told of Joyce’s work but also what everyday life was like for nurses during the war.   Photos illustrated her life including the heavy formal uniforms they were required to wear, even in the tropics!

It was a very hot evening and it was easy to imagine what life would have been like on the troop ship although thankfully we were only listening for an evening, not weeks in those conditions.   Despite the heat, Rhiannon held our attention as she re-created the journey of her mother’s war from these forgotten diaries.

What was also interesting was Rhiannon’s view of what life was like for her mother and other women after the war, especially during the 1950’s.   Women had far less freedom and responsibility, as the men returned and took up their old jobs and women were expected to return to the home.   Different times indeed.