Daphne Norah Mulholland (1915-1983) served at Ambulance Station 22 and was mentioned frequently in June’s diaries. June wrote of spending her evening ambulance shifts with Daphne in the station office and of visiting Daphne’s family apartment at 32 Princes Gardens.
Daphne had known tragedy: her father, Captain the Hon Andrew Mulholland, was killed in action in 1914 before she was born and, when she was 21, her fiancé, Captain Audley Alltrees Hogg, was found in a pool of blood on board HMS Ramilies. It was thought that he fell while holding a glass and sustained a fatal cut to the neck.
In 1920, aged 5, Daphne was featured in an article titled “Happy the Parents of So Fair a Child” (a quote from The Taming of the Shrew) in The Sketch (7 Apr 1920). Weirdly I can’t shake the idea that her contemplative pose anticipates her future sadness, but I know that is nonsense.
Her resemblance to the woman on the left in this picture taken in 1940 in Paultons Square is unmistakable.
Daphne left the ambulance service and went into the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS – the women’s branch of the army), rising to the rank of Senior Commander. In 1942, she married Sir John Guthrie Ward (1909-1991).
A sad postscript pops up in the diaries of actor Richard Burton for Sunday 29 May 1966: “Lady Ward [Daphne] is a real hard faced toper and quite clearly loathes her husband [British ambassador to Italy]. I fancy the feeling is mutual.” How different to the sweet sad child and to the open-faced young woman standing with her friend in the bombed out streets of Chelsea.