Alison MCEWAN [1950-2022]

Submitted by David on Tue, 08/30/2022 - 16:22
Birthplace (country)
Hong Kong
Died in (town, state)
Hackney, London
Died in (country)

I'm very sorry to have received news that Alison died last week. Her contributions to Gwulo include two wartime diaries that she painstakingly typed up from the originals: the account of her father, Colin McEwan, and that of R. E. Jones.

In 2010, Alison introduced us to Mr Jones's diary:

I've recently started transcribing a diary in my family's possession [...]

How my father Colin McEwan came by it we don't know, but it turned up as we slowly went through my parents' books.

It is a hardbacked notebook written in pencil from 28th Dec 1940 thro' to 27th Oct 1945. The diarist is an RE Jones who Tony [Banham] has identified as a Prison Officer, it is already clear he was the prison hangman too! His wife Marj had already been sent to Australia, and they had a baby daughter born 22nd Jan 1940 called Rae.

I have only reached early September 1942 but already I have references to a tiger and just today, $5 from the Pope.

I would be very happy to post this online somewhere as I transcribe it (he's learning German so has the odd phrase I don't recognise!) - and also many in this group may recognise names or events that mean nothing to me yet - but really I would dearly love to locate Rae Jones or her family so they could recover this piece of history.

Alison's hard work paid off, as in 2013 Rae Jones found the online copy of her father's diary here on Gwulo, and got in touch. Alison's wish came true as we were able to hand the original diary to Rae and put it back with her family where it belonged.

Thank you Alison.

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I’m very sorry to hear about Alison’s passing and extend my condolences to her family and friends.