Jewish Museum London closed to the public on Wednesday 18 March 2020. We are currently following advice from Public Health England. Read our full statement.

The Diary of Sister Florence Oppenheimer

JMM logo

The Diary of Sister Florence Oppenheimer

Object ID
JMM 2013.44.9
Date
1916

Description

Florence Oppenheimer embarked on 5 years of service on-board hospital ships during the First World War, sailing to Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. She kept her diary from 1915, originally writing each day but slowly becoming more infrequent. In 1918 and 1919 Florence added the rest of her story.

Florence Oppenheimer left London on 19th July 1915 and travelled by train to Devonport, Plymouth.

“19th July 1915… Coming along through the peaceful country, it seemed impossible to realize that there really was this fiendish war going on but now it was bought home to us.”

On 16 March 1916 she was mentioned in dispatches for gallant and distinguished services in the field.

Once war was over, Florence married Leopold Greenberg, editor of the Jewish Chronicle in 1920. Returning to her love of cooking, in 1934 she compiled the Jewish Chronicle Cookery Book which was a staple in almost every Jewish home, and for which she is most famous for today.

Florence also broadcast recipes during WWII on the BBC’s morning programme The Kitchen Front.
Florence reflected;

“I don’t think there are many people who have been privileged to have had two interesting and rewarding careers – one in nursing and the other cookery.”

Ask us anything

We’re all friends here. Get answers to those nagging questions you’ve always had - you can get a private answer if you prefer.
Ask Us Your Question