Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £4.49

Save £2.50 (36%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime by [Morris, Mary]
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
Kindle App Ad

A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£4.49

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Review

Mary Morris's absorbing diary is a tonic to so many outsized histories of the second World War by those who had not been there. ....In pithy, occasionally sardonic entries, Morris builds a picture of the pity of war and, above all, the moral and material ruins of post-Hitler Germany, where she danced the nights away in Allied officers clubs but also got to know the stench of diphtheria ("so foul and sickly") and gangrene. The scenes of horror and distress she recorded are leavened by childhood reminiscences of the Connemara coast and the glories of whiskey fruit cake. (Ian Thomson THE IRISH TIMES)

Keeping a diary during active service was forbidden, so this book offers a rare insight into the important roles of nurses, both on the Home Front and the frontline during the Second World War from their own viewpoint. (Verity Rogers WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE)

Diaries transport us back to the events they describe with a vividness other sources cannot match. This diary, recently discovered in the archives of the Imperial War Museum, was kept by Irish nurse Mary Morris to record her experiences during and after the Second World War. Her strength of character and spirit shine through. ....day and night she faced the grim experience of nursing battle casualties. The constant hunger from insufficient rations, catching diphtheria, and being injured by shrapnel failed to daunt her. (John Adams NURSING STANDARD)

Throughout it all, Mary's sense of humour and her high spirits rarely failed ... Mary is a talented writer and a humane observer of her remarkable experiences. Her diary is full of vivid, sometimes shocking vignettes ... [A] fascinating and deeply moving book (Jane Shilling DAILY MAIL)

A remarkable work ... [Mary] was a lucid observer of some of the most cataclysmic events in history (Ronan McGreevy IRISH TIMES)

Book Description

The newly discovered diary of a wartime nurse - a fascinating, dramatic and unique insight into the experiences of a young nurse in the Second World War.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2225 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (12 Jun. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J8K6IQI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #170,324 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime by Mary Morris is an extraordinary eyewitness account of some of the most public events of the late twentieth century. Through her wartime daily entries, Mary brings the past with the immediacy of the present and enabled the present-day generation to relive the horrors of World War II.

Described by her daughter, Kathy Lowe, as a person with a rebellious streak, bloody-minded determination and great sense of humor in the Postscript of the book, it was Mary Morris’ desire to be a nurse which led her to Britain in August 1939 at the age of 18. She joined as a nurse probationer at Guy’s Hospital in London but within a week Britain was at war. Though it is not allowed for those on active duties to keep diaries, Mary kept one, and is being published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the start of the Battle of Normandy.

Mary’s diary begins on 31st May 1940 when her routine duty at Kent and Sussex hospital is disturbed by the arrival of casualties from Dunkirk. The diary will take the reader through the London Blitz, her journey to Normandy with the Army Nursing Corps in June 1944 and her wards of wounded in France and Belgium.

The contents of the book include:
1. ‘The real war started for me today’ Training at the Kent and Sussex Hospital, Tunbridge Wells 31 May 1940– 26 October 1942
2. ‘What a night!’ Fever nursing, Brook Hospital, Woolwich 11 February 1943– 28 May 1944
3. ‘In the QAs at last’ Normandy and beyond 5 June 1944– 23 September 1944
4. ‘Rushed off our feet’ Belgium 24 September 1944– 8 May 1945
5. ‘We must get used to saying good-bye’ Aftermath 11 May 1945– 8 May 1946
6.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How Mary found the time to write when she was so busy with her grossly injured patients and so many times being alone on a ward of over 30 patients, I do not know. Her dedication to nursing was second to none and her understanding of human behaviour is phenomenal. She has a quality gift of writing, even to her own private diary. It is hard to put this book down! Mary gives a bird's eye view of actions on the ground and the effects of overhead plane activity while she is working amongst bullets flying, bombs exploding, shrapnel whizzing around etc. She not only describes her work but her patients stories vividly. Her social life brings respite from the hard toil of war and she never seems to tire of nursing. Mary has a great sense of justice and tolerance. Her observation is acute of everything going on around her. If this book does not turn out to be a best-seller I will be wanting to know why. World war 2 is brought to life and this book will remain in my memory for a very long time.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book It not only gave an insight into this lovely lady but also a look into the war which I had never found before in other books of this period or even in films. Would make a wonderful tv series. or film.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It’s hard not to warm to the young Irish nurse Mary Morris since her diary fizzes with an infectious zest to overcome all that the war in Europe throws at her - whether it’s German doodle bugs, martinet matrons or the lascivious designs of army officers.

The Irish angle on the war is illuminating: how food was more plentiful in Dublin than London, how 165,000 of her fellow countrymen fought with the British forces despite Eire’s neutrality and how she signed up too in the face of her father’s reservations.

Her compassionate writing brings the war to life and the expert commentary from editor Carol Acton is precise and insightful.

Altogether a life-affirming read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just an excellent account of her nursing days through training and during the 2nd World War. I started my training at a London Teaching in the 50's, the training had not changed too much even then, but it gave one the essentials of real nursing care! It was so moving, very sad in parts but a joy to read, her family must be very proud of her. Mary Morris has done an excellent job, so pleased her Diaries are in the Imperial War Museum.
Christine Joslin
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This should be a must read book for all youngsters especially aspiring nurses.
Me? I am old enough to remember the real thing. So very true to life in the 1940s
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary was an Irish nurse who served with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserves (QAs) in World War II. Defying the rules, she kept a diary, the importance of which was recognised by the Imperial War Museum in London which had stored it away until now. The diary, a remarkable window into life in the medical service during wartime, picks up with Mary training at Kent and Sussex Hospital, treating survivors of Dunkirk and, later, badly injured fighter pilots from the Battle of Britain. She was rebellious by nature, but also warm-hearted and perceptive, and went out of her way to treat patients’ psychological wounds as well their physical. During her training in fever nursing (this, of course, was pre-antibiotics), she moved on to the Brook Hospital in Woolwich where she encountered some horrific sights, including a baby’s face “half-eaten” by rats on a short-staffed and unsanitary children's ward, which was then hushed up by the tyrannical medical staff she fought against, yet somehow she rolled up her sleeves and got on with life and the job at hand. Nights out on the town with various servicemen and a reunion with a long-lost brother provided her with bite-sized reminders of normalcy; but for us readers, they bring home the ephemeral (and bittersweet) nature of relationships during the war. Mary enlisted with the QAs and was shipped to Normandy on a troopship, 12 days after D-Day, which she describes as “a dramatic, poignant and very vivid part of my life.” From there, we follow the field hospital into Belgium, where she patches up survivors of the ill-fated assault on Arnhem and finds true love in the shape of her future husband, and finally Germany itself. Mary, as evidenced in this diary, proves an eloquent and thoughtful witness to some of the most tragic events in human history. Throughout it all, she remained determined, compassionate and witty. But above all, she was a true wartime hero.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

click to open popover