Fenella Gatehouse tells Lena Augustinson and Naomi Clifford about her mother June Spencer, a driver for the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service in Chelsea during the Second World War and the subject of Naomi’s book Under Fire.
June Spencer was a debutante, dressmaker and artist with a vibrant and busy social life. She attended many serious bomb incidents. Her diaries, which contains some vivid descriptions of the destruction, is also a valuable source of information about daily life in the Blitz. June was extremely well-connected, and knew novelists Patrick O’Brian and Mary Wesley, poet, sailor and MP A.P. Herbert, artists Tom Dugdale and Augustus John. She lived at 97 Lindsey House on Cheyne Walk, then owned by Richard Stewart-Jones, the antiquarian who was the driving force behind the reconstruction of Chelsea Old Church after it was destroyed by bombing in April 1941.
June Spencer’s wartime diary is the subject of Naomi’s latest book Under Fire, published by Caret Press, available to order through bookshops and from Amazon. Ebooks and Kindle are also available.