I have recently finished reading this book. I thought it was an interesting insight into the life of an intelligent, hard working young woman moving from a “genteel” life as a clergyman’s daughter in 1914 to a war worker both voluntary and paid. It is a story oft repeated, but worth being reminded about. The sharp contrast between pre war life, and life in war time. She does not see, as many young women did, the awful sights of the hospital wards, but instead sees, in the latter part of the book, the equally deadly effects of the war on women working in the factories making explosives and filling shells.
She also conveys very well the often poor administrative arrangements in these jobs. Sometimes those in charge are keen but inexperienced, sometimes they are just poor quality people because presumably the better folk are already enlisted on one or other of the armed forces. The writer finds that she can organise and often has to sort things out without authority, and without adequate material or supplies, but she soldiers on until, sometimes, she can take no more and has to look about for a new post.
This is a real diary, not a fictional one, so it is written when the author has time, and not all of her notebooks have survived. This makes it all the more real and wishing that chance and circumstance had allowed more of her writings to survive.