To War with Whitaker

Hermione Ranfurly

12 July 2018
380 pages


Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly, kept a diary all her life. To War with Whitaker is an account of the most adventurous, most defiant and most valiant of those years.

Hermione and Dan Ranfurly married only months before the Second World War erupted. So when Dan was posted to the Middle East, taking their faithful butler Whitaker with him, Hermione resolved to join them there. This memoir offers astounding displays of commitment and independence. After vowing not to go home without her husband, Hermione travelled alone from Cape Town to Cairo, and remained in the Middle East and North Africa for the two and a half years he was imprisoned by the Germans – meeting many notable characters along the way.

With wit and exuberance, Hermione’s diary entries take us To War with Whitaker and back again, providing sharp insight into the strong and outspoken woman she was. This Pan Heritage Classics edition features the original black and white plate sections.

An extraordinary story. No review can do justice to the writing
These absolutely spiffing diaries offer a madcap, aristocratic window behind the lines of war
Few diaries from any era could be as fascinating . . . This is truly compulsive reading