Lorna was born in 1914 in Filton, north Bristol.

Over the course of Lorna's childhood she lived with her family in Stirling, Ilford, and Sheffield.

She left home in 1933 to study at the University of Cambridge, and 'graduated' with a degree in English in 1936 (although not technically: the Unive Read more...

Lorna was born in 1914 in Filton, north Bristol.

Over the course of Lorna's childhood she lived with her family in Stirling, Ilford, and Sheffield.

She left home in 1933 to study at the University of Cambridge, and 'graduated' with a degree in English in 1936 (although not technically: the University of Cambridge did not award degrees to women in the 1930s).

Lorna's first job was part-time English mistress at the County High School, Stourbridge (1936-37), and her second assistant English mistress at the Royal School, Bath (presumably 1937-39).

By 1939, 25 year old Lorna was living again with her parents, who had recently moved from Sheffield to Malvern.

On 1st September 1939, Lorna started writing her 'Diary of the war'. In her entry for 15th May 1940, Lorna said:

I shall bury this diary so deep that one day, in a saner world, someone may find it and know that the last legions of civilisation meant not domination but good, even though their hands were feeble and their foresight all too dim.

When we first set up this Blipfoto journal, we intended to post daily photos of Lorna's diary entries in the present against the appropriate date of exactly 80 years in the past. Beneath this we would provide a transcript of each diary entry as narrative. At the time we also had access to some other writing and artwork by Lorna, so we planned to fill gaps between the diary entries with this. Inevitably, however, we accepted that there would be days when we would have nothing to photograph and blip for Lorna's journal.

Then, in November 2019 at a family reunion, Lorna's niece passed a large archive of Lorna's work on to us. The archive contains dozens of pictures, as well as further examples of Lorna's writing in various forms (including poems and plays) in both English and French. Some of the creations date far back to Lorna's early childhood.

Other artefacts, including old photograph albums and family annuals, have since come our way as members of the wider family have learnt about this project. For example, we have received donations from Lorna's third cousin twice removed. (He is someone of whom we had no knowledge before we started this project. Perhaps even more surprising is that he happens to live within walking distance of us!)

With all the additional material we are now able to fill the gaps between the diary entries. So this journal is now more than the war diary originally anticipated. Instead it has transformed into a vehicle for showcasing some of the work of a talented young English woman born in 1914, and a window into middle class English life in the first half of the twentieth century.