Chapter 6

Chapter 6 It has been horrendous enough to see the effects of war on people one doesn’t know. This morning was in some ways even worse, because it came closer to home. Graham and I were “off duty”, which meant in reality that we were sitting in the mess, writing up patient notes. Rosie and […]

Chapter 5: A Busy Day (As Usual)

Saturday 4th November 1939 I am forcing myself to make time to write this entry after six weeks’ silence, for fear the truth of what is happening here will otherwise be lost … Since we set up shop, there has been an almost never-ending stream of casualties. The fighting is close; we can feel the […]

Chapter 4: Journey to France

Friday 29th September 1939 (Dover) We should have made our way down to Dover by train, but there was a signalling fault on the main line, plus a broken down train just outside Carlisle (they don’t do things by half in the North) so alternative transport had to be found. Unfortunately, this turned out to […]

Chapter 3: Epley Manor

Sunday 3rd September 1939 So we are at war. We only found out when changing trains at Carlisle, though of course it wasn’t exactly a surprise. In some ways, Chamberlain’s decision is a relief – better than sitting on our hands while the Bear ravages Europe. But it still feels unreal. Thursday 7th September 1939 […]

Chapter 2: Your Country Needs You At Once

“The most important people in the Army are the Nursing Sisters and the Padres – the Sisters because they tell the men they matter to us – and the Padres because they tell the men they matter to God.” Field Marshal Montgomery. ——————– Thursday 24th August 1939 “I’m going to document this.” I said to […]

Chapter 1: An Unexpected Discovery

The storm had blown itself out by morning, though it was evident from the broken slates on the patio (which had just missed decapitating a statue of Artemis) that there had been some damage to the roof. Josh and I offered to go up into the attic to check, and Lydia reluctantly agreed. Lydia is […]


Hello, and welcome to this companion blog to Sarah’s comic strip ‘Vanessa’s War:The Wartime Adventures of Lady Vanessa Montague’ (also known as ‘Under a Red Cross’ and accessible at My name is Jane, and I’m Sarah’s partner. By day, I’m a (fairly!) respectable civil servant, but I’ve always wanted to write. And so, with […]