Mary Mulry was eighteen years old when she arrived in London from Ireland to begin training as a nurse. The year was 1939. She had hoped for an adventure and a new start; she could not have predicted what the next seven years would bring.
In this extraordinary diary Mary recorded in intimate detail her experiences as a nurse on the Home Front and later working on the frontline in Europe. In London, she nursed critically ill children during bombing raids and narrowly escaped with her life in one the worst nights of the Blitz. In Normandy, arriving on the heels of the D-Day invasion, she tended to Allied soldiers and German prisoners of war. In war-torn Belgium, she witnessed harrowing casualties from the Battle of Arnhem.
Yet romance, glamour and adventure were never far away for Mary, even if her relationships often had to be cut short. 'I always seem to be saying good-bye to men whom I might have loved had there been enough time,' she writes.
Nurses were not allowed to keep diaries on active service, but Mary - fortunately for us - was not one for following rules. Her rebellious spirit, sharp wit and irrepressible personality shine through the pages of her 'very private diary', published now for the first time.