Writing the Century on Radio 4

BBC Woman's Hour series uses University of Leeds Liddle Collection, and the expertise of Professor Alison Fell.

The diaries and letters of a VAD nurse from the University of Leeds Liddle Collection are being dramatised for a Radio 4 production to be broadcast during Woman's Hour this week as part of the BBC's 'Writing the Century' series. The drama follows Sara Apperley, who after first working in Aldershot, went to Egypt in 1917 where she nursed in various hospitals. Her diaries and letters trace both the excitement of foreign travel from a young woman who had never before left her native Durham, and the sadness of witnessing the devastating effects of war on the men she nursed. They also record her grief at the death of her younger brother, a naval officer, alongside her growing love for her future husband, an officer in the Egyptian Labour Corps who was wounded at Gallipoli. After the Armistice, the young couple are caught up in the 1919 Egyptian uprisings against British occupation, but ultimately choose to settle in Egypt rather than return to England.

Radio 4 approached Professor Alison Fell to be a research consultant for the production. Professor Fell was involved through offering advice and information to the team, who then went on to produce the broadcast for Woman's Hour. For more information on the Legacies of War project at Leeds see http://www.arts.leeds.ac.uk/legaciesofwar

The programme will be broadcast on Monday 7th November at 10.45 and 19.45, and should be available on iPlayer for a week afterwards.