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Evelyn’s War

The newly discovered canal diary of Evelyn Hunt, an ‘Idle Woman’, edited by Tim Coghlan and serialised exclusively in Canals Rivers + Boats.

During the summer of 1942 the 28-year-old Evelyn Hunt, who had trained as an artist at the Royal College of Art, was working at in the Camouflage Department of the War Ministry, which was based in the requisitioned Regent Hotel in Leamington Spa. She was personal assistant to the distinguished war artist, and later President of the Royal Academy, Tom Monnington who was one of many artists enrolled. He was away much of the time, busy working on the concealment of the large Midlands factories making munitions and aircraft components. Sometimes she went with him, which led to a romantic attachment to this older married man, and after the death of his wife in 1946, to marriage in 1947. Otherwise she was left behind with her duties somewhat light.

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