Memories of war lead to another memoire

Herald Series: Eve Diett is publishing the second instalment of her memoires Buy this photo » Eve Diett is publishing the second instalment of her memoires

WITH her second book of memoirs about to hit the shelves, Eve Diett has done well out of her amazing memory.

The 86-year-old grandmother-of-nine first wrote about her years in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War.

These memories became her first book, Here Come The Land Girls, which was published in 2006 and inspired the play Lilies On The Land.

Now she has turned to her time spent in the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI) in 1949, while posted at an army camp in Denbury, Devon.

Her new book, Diary of a NAAFI Girl, shines a light on the institution and tells the stories of British troops during the Korean War.

NAAFI was created by the British government in 1921 to run recreational establishments needed by the British Armed Forces, and to sell goods to servicemen and their families. It ran a range of venues including shops, supermarkets and cafés on most British military bases. Mrs Diett, from Britwell Road, Watlington, said she had always wanted to write a book but finally took the plunge after being widowed 11 years ago.

“These stories need to be told,” she said. “I have been blessed with this memory which I can use to go back and recall everything that happened.

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“It was only when I came to tell my children about them that they said I should write them down.

“And I like writing and did well at English Literature when I was at school.”

Mrs Diett said one reason she was so interested in documenting the stories of the soldiers who returned from the Korean War was their own reluctance to talk about it.

She said: “I remember all the stories that they told me. They were amazing stories. Like the RAF officer who told me all about when he had been an agent during the war and was captured by the Gestapo.”

She added: “When they left they were eager to get over there and fight.

“But often when they came back they were like old men. The light had gone out of their eyes.”

Mrs Diett is also halfway through another book about her experiences catering for the great and good after the war ended.

Diary Of A NAAFI Girl is on sale from today for £8.99.

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