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Edalinda Victoria Longbone

I found myself alive.

Edalinda Victoria Longbone

“After the terrific rending crash overhead, the floor rocked under us and the shuddering explosion seemed to, nay, did bring down the whole building upon us. We were trapped so that we could not move either way. The impact had knocked all the breath out of our bodies.” These were the words of Edalinda Victoria Longbone, describing the moment on a Friday morning during World War II when the Marks & Spencer’s where she worked in London was hit by a bomb.

Originally born in Pembroke, Wales, Edalina (known to her friends and family as Eda) had moved to London and was there during the early years of World War II when she first-hand experienced the London Blitz. She was buried in the debris of the wrecked building for several hours. During those hours, she reflected that “death had come very close – but had passed by – why? The work my Heavenly Father had allotted me was not finished.” Finally, with much relief, she saw the mud-soaked boots of the rescue party as they dug her out.

Eda was swiftly transferred to the hospital and was operated on. Eda was unaware how badly she had been hurt as she described herself in “a drugged sleep of indifference. Then came realisation [when] the first dressings to my wounds were taking place.” Eda’s indifference turned to concern as she realised how badly she had been hurt in the bombing. She was covered in gashes and the doctor explained to her that the muscles at the back of her leg had been badly torn away. Because she had been buried in debris for several hours her open wounds had been exposed to dirt and her system had suffered a serious shock. She was at high risk of developing sepsis and gangrene complications, though the surgeon and nurses had done their best.

As the dressings were cleaned and reapplied, Eda “did some serious thinking”. In particular, she reflected on the promises she had received from God in a special blessing she had received. She had been promised that if she kept certain commandments she would live to a ripe old age, and she had been promised that she would be given strength to endure tribulation. In Eda’s mind she hadn’t yet reached old age, and this was certainly a moment of tribulation. She chose to put her trust in God and His promises to her.

She wrote of her experience, “I resolved there and then that I would do my part - I would recover as soon as possible, and the surest way of doing that was to keep a cheerful spirit – I would not get depressed. ‘Faith without works is dead,’ and ‘God loveth a cheerful giver,’ says the Scriptures. My ‘works’ and ‘gifts’ would consist of a happy outlook and a good temper.”

Eda’s trust in God and her cheerfulness in the face of pain and tribulation served her well. Her wounds healed cleanly and quickly. For the rest of her life, Eda would say she did not regret the experience and described it as faith-promoting. “I note with gratitude how much kindness, love and devotion has been afforded me, and realised that in spite of all the hate and cruelty rife in this sad war-torn world, the Spirit of the loving, gentle Christ is in great evidence.”

Contributions:
Research: Michelle Graabek
Writing: Michelle Graabek
Editing: Amy Epps & Louise Paulsen
Photography: N/A

Sources:

“‘America is Wonderful,’ Says British Lady” Provo Sunday Herald, p. 15, 1948.
https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=22711386&q=’’America+is+Wonderful’+Says+British+Lady&sort=rel&year_start=1948&year_end=1948&facet_paper=%22Provo+Sunday+Herald%22

Longbone, Eda V. “Faith-Promoting Incidents in the Lives of the British: I found myself alive-Why?”, Millennial Star, Vol. 105, No. 14, p. 304-305, 1943.
https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/9a9d5175-fb48-4452-a5df-aeb15851ec7d/0/0

Perry, James. “Living and Loving the British Mission: Edalina Victoria Longbone”.
https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/living-and-loving-the-british-mission-edalinda-victoria-longbone#_ftn6

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