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Dorothea's War

By: Dorothea Crewdson,Richard Crewdson
Narrated by: Julia Barrie,Richard Burnip
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Summary

In April 1915 Dorothea Crewdson, a newly trained Red Cross nurse, and her best friend, Christie, received instructions to leave for Le Treport in Northern France. Filled with excitement at the prospect of her first paid job, Dorothea began writing a diary. 'Who knows how long we shall really be out here? Seems a good chance from all reports of the campaigns being ended before winter, but all is uncertain.' Dorothea would go on to witness and record some of the worst tragedy of the First World War firsthand, though somehow always maintaining her optimism, curiosity, and high spirits throughout.

The pages of her diaries sparkle with warmth and humour as she describes the day-to-day realities and frustrations of nursing near the frontline of the battlefields or the pleasure of a beautiful sunset or a trip 'joy riding' in the French countryside on one of her precious days off. One day she might be gossiping about her fellow nurses or confessing to writing her diary while on shift on the ward or illustrating the scene of the tents collapsing around them on a windy night in one of her vivid sketches. In another entry she describes picking shells out of the beds on the ward after a terrifying air raid (winning a medal for her bravery in the process).

Nearly a hundred years on, what shines out above all from the pages of these extraordinarily evocative diaries is a courageous, spirited, compassionate young woman whose story is made all the more poignant by her tragically premature death at the end of the war, just before she was due to return home.

Read by Julia Barrie and Richard Burnip. Introduction, footnotes, and supplementary text (c) Richard Crewdson 2013.

©2013 The estate of Dorothea Crewdson (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group

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Such a sad war

The account of Dorothea’s diary was truly amazing. Your mind was in the hospitals with her. You wished so hard to see her back with her family at the end. If anyone deserved a life after the war this brave lady did.

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A Gem of a book

This story tucked away in the history of the Great War is indeed a Gem of a book.
What a remarkable Women, deserves huge recognition for her nursing services during four long years of war. I enjoyed it and couldn't stop listening. The narration was good fitting the story. Recommended.

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Was informative

Brave woman in the hospitals of war shame it's just in diary form of few lines a day would have been wonderful with more descriptive view or dramatized view but for the basics of everyday almost just to get a glimpse into the lives and views was good and thank you to the grandson who let it be published or it could have been lost forever

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  • Laurie
  • 04-05-16

Diary

This is a diary, so it does not read like a novel or non fiction. The writing is not the main interest of the book, but the glimpse into WW I nursing and an emerging world for women are remarkable. Dorothea Crewdson was a remarkable and brave young woman.

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