Redbridge clubs news: Historical First World War talk on nurse’s diary and a narrow boat cruise on the River Lee

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 September 2015

British soldiers negotiating a shell-cratered, Winter landscape along the River Somme in late 1916 after the close of the Allied offensive.

British soldiers negotiating a shell-cratered, Winter landscape along the River Somme in late 1916 after the close of the Allied offensive.


The latest news from Redbridge’s clubs and information

Ilford Historical Society

The society opened its new season with a talk on little-known First World War nurse, Sister Edith Appleton OBE.

Richard Robinson, great-nephew of the nurse, and his daughter Lisa Robinson, delivered the session at Ilford Hospital Chapel, in Ilford Hill, last week.

The nurse was an avid diarist who recorded entries of her experiences looking after dying soldiers on the western front.

One such entry described how a young soldier requested a kiss just before he died. The nurse said: “I did kiss the boy – first for his mother and then for myself – which pleased him.”

Her diaries were edited by her great-nephew and made into a book A Nurse at the Front: The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton.

Mr Robinson gave the background to the book’s publication and his daughter Lisa read from her great, great-aunt’s diary.

As Edith named her patients in her diary, descendants of the dying soldiers have been in contact with Mr Robinson to say how grateful they were to learn of their ancestor’s last hours.

Two members of the society, Georgina Green and Alan Simpson also have new published books out.

The society’s next talk will be about Henry V’s famous longbow victory at Agincourt in 1415 which takes place at 7.30pm at Ilford Hospital Chapel on October 12.


Redbridge 18 Plus

The social group enjoyed a leisurely narrow boat cruise along the River Lea from the boat yard at Broxbourne Down to Waltham Cross Lock.

Taking breaks along the way, the group enjoyed some of the sights at Lea Valley Park which included a variety of birds and a scenic view of the countryside.

Members were also able to demonstrate their nautical skills by being taking it in turns to steer the boat while others assisted with working the lock gates and mooring the vessel.

Club member, Terry Little, said: “It is always fascinating to go on the narrow boats.

“Going along the River Lea was enjoyable and a good experience for all.”

The club also celebrated its 40th birthday on Friday and have planned to take a trip to Hastings.

Redbridge 18 Plus is a social group for people between the age of 18 and 65 wanting to socialise and make new friends.

Anyone interested in joining the group is invited to visit the service, which is based at Goodmayes Community Centre, 616 Green Lane Ilford Essex IG3 9SE.

Regular meeting times are Fridays from 8.30pm onwards.

For further information call Trevor Eley on 0208 553 0947 or Francesca Barclay on 0208 554 1364 or visit

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