November 21, 2018

Jersey nurse’s WW1 autograph book reunited with family


Learning about family history seems to be the latest trend, with sites like and 23andMe, but Peter Norman learned part of his family history in the most unexpected way. 

In the 1980s, collector Mario Pirozzolo found an interesting World War I autograph book, kept by a Jersey nurse, filled with notes and images from men in treatment. Pirozzolo always thought the book was an amazing historical treasure, but decided just recently to speak about the book on a radio show in effort to find the nurse’s family. Norman heard about the autograph book on the radio show and met with Pirozzolo to retrieve the book filled with his great aunt’s memories. BBC reports Norman saying, “It’s a window into history and the experiences of young men during war.” BBC also provides images of a few pages of the book, which show cartoons, sketches and poems.

The autograph books contain sketches, poems and cartoons. Image provided by BBC.


Rifleman W E Fisher of the First Surrey Rifles drew a still life picture in nurse Norman’s book. Image provided by BBC.


Pte B Cullen of the 10th Royal Fusiliers’s sketch, “Holiday reflections at Bedford.” Image provided by BBC.




Christina Cerio is the Manager of Direct Sales & Special Projects at Melville House.