While my great grandfather was in the trenches in WW1, he wrote home to his wife and children every single day. That’s a lot of letters. He said he considered it his duty and a duty which he enjoyed and wanted to fulfil. If all the soldiers – millions of them, were sending home a letter a day, where are they all? Did other families keep them like ours did?
His name was Harry.
This is a photo of him. In all the photos he is smiling with his eyes. Twinkling. I’ve always thought he looked like a very nice man. A kind man. He wasn’t a soldier by profession, he was a woollen manufacturer, but during peace time he was a member of the Territorial Army. People made fun of the TA because they were ‘Saturday Soldiers’ or ‘played’ at fighting, but actually when war was declared in August 1914, the TA were amongst the first to go. They fought alongside full time soldiers just as bravely and in the same conditions. Again, this was down to the men’s sense of duty.
I’m in the process of trying to make a book using Harry’s letters because they give such a wonderful insight into a family separated by the war. Harry and his wife were a devoted couple and it was hard for them to be apart. But, as Harry frequently said, he trusted in God to keep him safe.