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Introduction to the diary

These are the war diary of my grandad, Arthur Cannell, who kept a diary during the Second World War.  Although not a complete record of the war, the diary gives an insight into his life from the wartime period of 1941 to 1944 when he was stationed out in Africa and India.

(Arthur Cannell)
He also kept two photo albums full of small black and white photos which he had took during his postings, which I have scanned and used in this blog.  

He gave the diary to my father, Barrie Cannell, along with the photograph albums. These were annotated with the place and year so I have an accurate photographic record of the diary events.

I have written the diary exactly as it appears in his original diary, adding relevant photographs from the album to highlight key places and events.  I have included the original annotations at the bottom of each picture. 

Arthur Cannell

(Birth certificate)
Arthur was born on 25 April 1916 in Bethnall Green, London.  He was a East End boy, born into a relatively poor family. Arthur was one of nine children, and he would often recall how he had to share a bed with with his siblings. 

He served in the RAF during the second world war, packing parachutes and serving abroad. He spent much of his time in India, keeping a diary of his time out there from 1941-1944. 

(Olive and Arthur: Wedding day)
Arthur Cannell married my nan, Olive, just before the war.  They were separated during the early days of their marriage. On his return they had a family, my aunty Carol and my father Barrie.  

My grandad often talked about the war and times in India, and I remember looking at the photo albums with him as a child and wanting to visit those exotic places.  

I wanted to share the war time experience of my grandad through his word and pictures. 

Lorna Cannell

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