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Joice Nankivell Loch Joice Nankivell Loch i(A19438 works by) (birth name: Joice Mary Nankivell) (a.k.a. Joice Mary Loch; Mrs Sydney Loch; J. M. Loch; Mrs J. M. Loch; Joice N. Loch; Joice Nankivell; Joyce Mary Nankivell)
Also writes as: Joice M. Nankivell
Born: Established: 24 Jan 1887 Ingham - Cairns area, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 8 Oct 1982
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Female
Expatriate assertion
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Born on a Queensland sugar plantation, Joice Nankivell spent part of her childhood in Gippsland before a devastating financial loss forced the family to relocate on several occasions. Nankivell evenually settled in Melbourne where she went on to work (and study informally) at the University of Melbourne.

In 1918 she married the writer Frederick Sydney Loch (q.v.). The couple moved overseas in 1920, spending time in London before living in Ireland for 18 months; during this period Nankivell worked as a journalist. After volunteering to serve with Quaker relief units in Poland, the Lochs eventually settled in Greece in 1923 where they continued to work in refugee camps providing aid to the victims of Turkish persecution. During World War II the Lochs left Greece to assist with relief efforts for Polish refugees in Bulgaria and Romania 1939-1944, they returned to Greece after the war. During her lifetime Nankivell was recognised for her work as a humanitarian which was honoured with numerous awards including the Polish Gold Cross of Merit, Greek Red Cross Gold Medal and Order of the British Empire (MBE) which she received in 1972.

The Lochs combined their humanitarian work with writing, recording their experiences. Nankivell collaborated on two works of non-fiction with her husband, Ireland in Travail (1922) and The River of a Hundred Ways (1924). Nankivell's connection to Greece was further reflected in two other works, A Life for the Balkans (1939) and Prosporion, Uranopolous Rugs and Dyes (1964). Between 1932 and 1958, she also contributed material to Blackwoods' Magazine which included a thirteen-part series titled 'Modern Athonians' (1931-1937). Nankivell reportedly based 'some of the Greek parts' of her autobiography, A Fringe of Blue (1968), on articles that had previously been published by this magazine. Greece was to remain Nankivell's home, she died and was buried in the village of Ouranoupolis, a region of Macedonia.

There is some discrepancy between sources recording this author's date of birth. Susanna De Vries provides an explanation, noting that in order to comply with the 'mores of the time' Nankivell had 'always made believe she was four years younger' than her husband 'while in reality she was two years older'. In writing her autobiography Nankivell subsequently altered childhood dates and ages in accordance with her revised age, for this reason A Fringe of Blue gives her birthdate as 1893, 'six years later than the date shown on her birth certificate'. (Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread, pp. 331-332.)

Nankivell was the niece of the botanical artist and children's author, Ellis Rowan (q.v.).

Most Referenced Works


  • Nankivell's Tales of Christophilos was shortlisted by the William Allen White Children's Book Award, 1956 - 1957.
Last amended 29 Oct 2007 13:49:43
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