Moving D-Day diary entry by Bedalian, 6 June 1944

On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Bedales archivist, Jane Kirby, unearthed an excerpt from a diary written by OB Jean Symons née Layton written on 6 June 1944 entitled Diary of invasion from a Bedalian’s point of view. Jean gives a fascinating account of what it was like to be in Steep on that day. When she woke that morning she wrote: “Conscious of planes going over and cannot get to sleep. School clock strikes 7. Distant guns beyond Portsmouth, must be at sea, – (intuition – why not France?) See 3 planes flying low past dorm window – think perhaps there are men in these going to France.” Later she adds: “Remark on number [of] amphibious tanks and terrific cranes going through Steep”. Read the full diary entry.

Bedales during WW2 (1940)


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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