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Frontline diaries of nurse to help mark Great War centenary

The diaries of a nurse who worked close to the Western Front during the First World War will be the subject of a public talk organised by the University of Chester to mark the centenary of the conflict.

The talk will take a look at the life of Sister Edith Appleton, an experienced professional nurse, who served in France and Belgium for the whole of the Great War.

Sister Appleton kept a diary throughout the conflict, which has now been published in a book entitled A Nurse at the Front.

It details with compassion all the horrors of the conflict, including the first use of poison gas and experiencing the aftermath of major battles.

Edith Appleton’s bravery and dedication won her the Military OBE, the Royal Red Cross and the Belgian Queen Elisabeth medal among others.

Dick Robinson – Edith’s great-nephew – and his daughter Sara will deliver the talk based on the diaries, which also record what life was like for nurses and how she spent her time off-duty.

Mr Robinson said: “Since the book of diaries was published, some of the most touching and rewarding feedback I have received has been from civilian and army nurses, currently in training, acknowledging how they have drawn inspiration from Edie’s writing.”

The free talk on the diaries of Edith Appleton will take place on 2 April at 4pm in Room CRV139 at the University of Chester Riverside Campus, Castle Drive, Chester, CH1 1SL.

The event is being organised by the University of Chester’s faculty of health and social care historical society. Contact Roger Whiteley to book a place via r.whiteley@chester.ac.uk or 01244 511619

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