From Cairo to Perugia | Diary of a Nurse in WW2

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From Cairo to Perugia, published in 2014, is a book of diaries of a young nurse
serving in Egypt, Libya, Sicily and Italy in WW2, between 1941 and 1945.

It tells of her experiences during the war, also containing many photos she took during her travels.
This site is about the book, also containing a photo library of wartime pictures by Joan Lockyer.

From Cairo to Perugia - a nurse's journey through war to love, by Joan Lockyer, compiled by Rosie Tobin.
Published through Coherent Visions, 2014. 280pp. 5x8in/203x128mm. ISBN 978-0-9569367-5-2.

This book is compiled from the diaries of Joan Lockyer, a young British nurse from the Bristol area serving behind the front line in Egypt, Libya, Sicily and Italy during the Second World War.

Bending the rules for people serving at the front in WW2, she kept secret diaries which were later found and transcribed by her daughter, Rosie Tobin, following Joan's death in Cornwall in 2009.

The book contains many of Joan's photographs. These and more of her photos are to be found in the pictures section on this site.

It's a saga of long working days and frequent relocation of field hospitals, yet also of fun and adventures - nurses in the forces were surrounded with men, and there were interesting and exotic places to visit. The book also tells of Joan's courtship with her future husband Jeaf, a doctor serving at the front line.

Eventually Joan and Jeaf were married in Perugia, Italy, late in 1944, as the war was coming to an end. Other potential suitors crop up throughout the book too.

This was a formative period for Joan - she was in her earlier twenties. The war changed people, especially the women serving in the war. Today it might seem strange that Joan was upset at the time by being instructed to wear trousers instead of dresses, but at that time it was a big and significant change - also a sign of things to come for women in the postwar period.

Joan's story is a personal journey that also serves as an historic document, recording an aspect of WW2 that we don't hear about so often - the story of a woman and nurse in active service and far away from home.

NEXT: About the Book

The book was
compiled by Rosie Tobin,
Joan's daughter. With her husband Jon, she is an
organic farmer in the
far west of Cornwall.

It can be ordered online by clicking here or by contacting Rosie Tobin the compiler.
The book is priced at £8.95
plus postage & packing.

This site gives full information about the book, also presenting a collection of photos taken by Joan Lockyer during her travels in WW2

Website by Palden Jenkins

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