Current Project

In my new piece, The Jewish One, I am delving into my shrouded Jewish history for the first time.

Raised as a Christian I knew almost nothing about my Jewish past until I was a teenager. Then I discovered, by accident, that our surname ‘Edmunds’ was not the real one and that my father had changed it from Edelman in the anti-Semitic climate of post WW1.

Despite having worked on a kibbutz in Israel when a student, I did not find my relatives there for another 20 years - or my lost Jewish aunt who had long ago taken the veil and become Headmistress of a Christian Missionary School in the Gold Coast (Ghana).

Later still, I discovered that my aunt had returned to the UK and that, very occasionally, she and my father met in the cafeteria at London's Victoria Station. It is only then that I engineered a meeting with her. I was only just in time. Alzheimer’s had already just begun to confuse her.

A few years ago, before I had contemplated this project, a niece and nephew helped me record – for our family- the historical anecdotes that I had picked up over the years.

At one point my niece exclaimed: "You know you've got to turn this into a book or a play!"

" But isn’t there too much stuff on this sort of thing already?" I answered.

"Yes - but not with a NUN!" she replied.

Last year I resolved to give it a go. In December, I travelled to Ghana with my partner, Nigel, to walk in her footsteps. We visited the flourishing Secondary School where she had pioneered education for Ghana’s neglected girls and even met a few old scholars who remembered her. They threw a whole new light on my story...

Sister 1915
Sister 1915
Sister 1965
Sister 1965
Grandmother 1900
Grandmother 1900
Grandfather 1900
Grandfather 1900
Brother 1907
Brother 1907