ENID BAGNOLD 1889 - 1981

Enid Bagnold

Enid Bagnold was born in Rochester in Kent the daughter of an officer in the Royal Engineers and was educated in both England and Switzerland after spending time as a child in Jamaica. She started to attend the Walter Sickert school of Art in London but when war broke out in 1914 she joined the Voluntary Aid detachment and served as a nurse at a military hospital in Woolwich. She wrote a critical pamphlet about her experiences and was dismissed; she then volunteered as a driver and did serve in France.

After the war she worked as a journalist for Hearth and House and The Modern Society when she met Frank Harris the editor and became involved romantically with him. But she married Sir Roderick Jones in 1920 and began to write seriously; her most successful book being National Velvet. There were other books as well as plays; the most well known being The Chalk Garden which played at the Theatre Royal in Brighton in 1956 with Edith Evans, and Peggy Ashcroft. The “Garden” of the play was inspired by her own garden at North End House in Rottingdean.

Enid Bagnold died in Rottingdean in 1981 and is buried in the family vault in St. Margaret’s Churchyard.