13th March 1919

On Thursday 13th a Lt. Hester and a WAAC, Miss Morgan, came and took charge of us. They took me to photograph an Officers’ Canteen, the Emile Zola, a very prettily arranged shop, After this I motored out to Harfleur, the biggest camp in France, with Mr Hester, Miss Morgan going with the others in our car. It was interesting to see this huge camp. There were a great many German prisoners working there. I photographed the Officers’ Rest Home, and did a charming group of girls cleaning the table silver, with a cook house in the back-ground.

Harfleur Silver Cleaning

Five Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) cleaning silver for No. 1 Wing Officers Mess at Harfleur (IWM).

We went next to visit the Base Commandant, but I stayed in the Ambulance and talked to the girl who was driving us. She had been on duty since 10 in the morning, and after taking us round was going straight on at 7 for night duty until 7 in the morning. I felt very vexed abour it, but did my best to interest her in our work, and to make her feel that it was not just a “taxi job”. But it was hardly to be expected that she could feel the same about it as though we were stretcher cases.

You really get a sense for Edis’ sympathetic nature in this paragraph. Throughout the journal there are examples of her being very aware of her subjects’ feelings, and those of the people who help them over the course of the trip. She tries her best to ensure that people are not too inconvenienced or bored by her work, and is always keen to chat to those who are interested. It’s a very likeable quality, and it’s easy to see how she managed to put people at ease and capture such natural portraits.

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