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Miss Cavell Was Shot

Monica Kendall

The Diaries of Amy Hodson, 1914–1920

Miss Cavell Was Shot

£12.99

ISBN 9781781323670

Published May 2015

Paperback
216 x 140mm (354 pages)

18 October – Sunday The Germans have come to Crocodile. Terrified we stood watching them behind the curtain. Shells bursting here and there. Awful fight between sea and land. Had to hide in the cellars for eight hours and then escaped from the villa to Middelkerke. Pouring with rain, no hat or stockings on, holding two kids by the hand, Germans by hundred everywhere in dunes, shells flying over our heads we at last reached Middelkerke. No home to go to. 70 children to look after. We all got separated. Arthur nearly fainted when he watched from the window farms burning. It was a pitiable sight. Germans making an awful noise.

In August 1914, thirteen-year-old Amy was trapped on the Belgian seacoast as war was declared with Germany, alone with her younger brothers. British, resilient and feisty, she got back to occupied Brussels and began her war diaries.

Amy knew Nurse Cavell and Ada Bodart, members of the secret network to get Allied soldiers across the frontier. She writes of zeppelins, food shortages, constant gunfire and spies. She confronts a ‘sneering’ German who demands to know where her brother is: ‘I could have shot him,’ she comments. Then it all changes: in 1917 her mother attacks her and Amy is moved to a Catholic boarding school nearby.

Constantly in trouble for being disruptive, answering back, whistling, laughing in church and climbing onto roofs ‘for fun’, she longs for the love and approval of her teacher – and her estranged mother.

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