As thousands of wounded returned from the Front, extra hospitals opened across Cornwall and many young women volunteered for basic medical training to help nurse the injured and maimed. Between 1914-1918 an estimated 90,000 women signed up nationwide, many hundreds in Cornwall.
Several large houses across the county were turned into nursing homes. One which became a convalescent home for officers was Scorrier House, near Redruth.
Lily Opie, who joined a group of local young women who helped out there, kept an autograph book with photos, signatures and poems from the officers recovering there. They went on outings, danced and sang. The key thing: to lift spirits and think about anything other than the war.
Lily Opie lived at Penrose, Clinton Road, Redruth and part of the well-known Redruth photography firm Opie Ltd. (Henry Opie was a photographer who opened a photographic studio in 1889 at Bond Street, Redruth. Originally called Opie, Henry & Sons, the firm became Opie Ltd in 1914 with other premises opening in Penryn Street, Redruth; Truro, Falmouth And Helston.
Here are a selection of images from that book (held at Kresen Kernow, Redruth, Cornwall).