Isabel Fry descibes an encounter with soldiers returning from Dunkirk

Sometimes it can be frustrating to catalogue archives that are so interesting that there just isn’t enough time to capture the subtleties. I found this entry in Isabel Fry’s diary from 1940 and feel it really gives a feel for the moment, and speaks to me also about Fry’s personality.

June 3 – [19]40. Naunton
Came here. The long hot journey was filled with contacts with soldiers back from Dunkirk. Fast trains running thro’ packed with them, platform s full, some glad of a wash at a stand pipe, one asleep on the platform, woken so tenderly by his comrades & so grateful for tea and sandwiches I got for him. Others grateful for cigs & sharing them rather than keeping them for themselves. A quiet talk with a young airman, who asked me what I thought of C.O.s [Conscientious Objectors] ( I think he might have felt like being on himself). A chance encounter with Mrs Dodson (Rosem-Spooner’s sister,) who I had bullied into offering to pay tea for any soldiers who wanted it in the rest car without knowing her! I’d offered to share expenses of course.

In contrast, my catalogue entry says this;

June 3 descibes a train journey to Naunton encountering soldiers returning from Dunkirk who Fry bought tea and sandwiches for

Hmm… In my defence the rest of the catalogue entry looks rather different with entries for many days in Fry’s diary

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2 Responses to Isabel Fry descibes an encounter with soldiers returning from Dunkirk

  1. It is really frustrating sometimes, though I think that’s where blogs complement cataloguing really well. They’re the place where you can just let loose and go into all the depth and detail you want about the items/collections that really interest you!
    These diaries sound like they’re so full of fascinating stuff that I’ve even got a bit of cataloguing envy!

  2. Sean Curran says:

    It’s funny that she probably didn’t realise how much such a short passage can tell you about her personality!

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