BOOK REVIEW: Joyce’s War

Joyce's War

Joyce’s War by Joyce Ffoulkes Parry History Press, Paperback, £9.99

Born in Caerwys, North Wales in 1908, Joyce was only two when the family emigrated to Australia. After training as a nurse and for a number of private concerns, she decided to return to Wales, in 1937.

Again she began nursing and exploring the ‘beloved hills’ of the country of her birth.

But in 1940 she registered as a QA Sister – an officer rank in the army – to help the war effort and so began four years of adventure, danger and caring which were carefully documented in a journal which came to light after her death13 years ago.

It is an amazing trip back into the life of a nurse during those hazardous days. Joyce served in Egypt, India and the Far East and her notes are informative about the times and the events as well as the constant pressures placed upon those in the medical profession.


From basic wartime hospitals to life on board a hospital ship, Joyce identifies the problems of nursing under wartime conditions as well as the moments of relaxation she managed to grab.

You won’t get a more heartwarming record of nursing during difficult times but this isn’t just a book for those with medical experience – they are the words of a woman who, like so many, gave herself to help others.