The Diary of Soeur Marguerite of the Sisters of Lamotte Suffering and Sacrifice in the First World War.
The campaign in Flanders, with its successive battles, would be the longest of the Great War and the costliest in terms of human life.
At the centre of the fearful and prolonged barrages of shelling by the military of both sides lay the town of Ypres, known for its Cloth Hall and cathedral, its butter and its lace -- now to be blasted to infamy as an indelible symbol of suffering and sacrifice and wanton destruction.
The underground passageways of the towns ancient fortifications provided shelter for the trapped townspeople.
In desperate circumstances courageous and selfless individuals administered medical attention, distributed food and clothing, provided milk for babies and set up orphanages and schools for children.
Some of these volunteers, such as the Friends Ambulance Unit (FAU), came from afar, whilst others already formed an essential part of the moral and social fibre of the beleaguered town: these included the local priest, Camille Delaere, and the nuns who lent him their support. The cures indefatigable assistant was the young nun Soeur Marguerite of the Sisters of Lamotte, and it is her daily journal that became The Diary of an Ypres Nun. Originally published in French in 1917, this harrowing yet sometimes surprisingly humorous account of events in the besieged and battered town of Ypres was written between October 1914 and May 1915, as she worked alongside the FAU and Father Delaere, to bring comfort and succour to the suffering civilian population.