Emma Duffin was born in Belfast in 1883, the middle child of nine to a family of substantial wealth. Her mother Maria and sisters Molly and Ruth also feature in this timeline.
Her progressive parents provided an extensive education by governess and in England. She became a talented illustrator and committed social activist.
The role for which she is most renowned is as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse in WWI and WWII as detailed in her prolific diary keeping.
In recognition of her hard work and selflessness, she received an honorary MA from Queen’s University Belfast in 1954.
She died in 1979 aged 96. Having never married, she was buried with several family members in Newcastle, Co. Down.
Researcher: Pauline Connolly
PRONI Reference for Diary: D2109/18 (Thanks to Mr. Michael Duffin)
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Wife of Church of Ireland Minister and mother of three children. Diary period: 1890sview more
Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse during the First and Second World Wars. Diary period: 1910sview more
Writer, political activist & sister of Countess Markievicz. Diary Period: 1890sview more
Teenage girl documenting a trip to Germany & social life. Diary period: 1910sview more
Socialist, volunteer for the Nursery School Association and wife of John Hewitt. Diary period: 1950sview more
A Teenage girl growing up in Newry during the Troubles. Diary period: 1980sview more
Political observer, philanthropist and wife of Wilfred Spender. Diary period: 1910sview more
Nurse in the Casualty Clearing Stations and hospital trains during the First World War. Diary Period: 1910sview more
Writer for the Mass Observation during the Belfast Blitz & birth control campaigner. Diary period: 1940sview more