Well, it didn’t take long to unmask our nursing sister, once I’d the benefit of that attribution. She was indeed a Miss Luard, but Kate Evelyn Luard, rather than Kathleen, and it would seem, known to her friends and family by her middle name, Evelyn.
The daughter of the Vicar of Aveley, a man rejoicing in the name Bixby Garnham Luard and of Clara Isabella Sandford Bramston, she had brothers who achieved high rank in the army, one of whom, Frank William Luard, a Colonel in the Royal Marines, was killed at Gallipoli on 13 July 1915 six weeks after her last entry in the ‘Diary’.
She subsequently released a book under her own name, called ‘Unknown Warriors’, a new edition of which has been produced by her family and will be published in August 2014.
Update to this post on 6 August 2014
I duly pre-ordered the book, and it arrived today, just in time to distract me from the research I had intended to prioritise. Yesterday’s episode of Michael Portillo’s series, about the role of the railways in WW1, included something on the ambulance trains.
The contrast between that photograph of the well appointed interior of an ambulance train coach, intended to reassure the general public, and the working conditions described in Anonymous Diary of a Nursing Sister, could not be greater.