History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

29 May, 2011

Letters From Home

Photographs of soldiers writing letters are quite common among official photos of the First World War-- it was in the interests of officials to reassure those at home that it wasn't so bad, after all, and seeing the boys on the front writing and reading letters from home was tremendously reassuring. Soldiers did, of course, write plenty of letters...even if the worst parts were usually omitted from correspondence,  by individual choice as well as by official censorship. I find these types of photographs very moving, knowing just how much it must have meant to the poor men at the front to hear from home, and to those at home to know their loved ones were still all right, for at least another day. 

All but the last are from the World War One Official Photographs collection of the National Library of Scotland.

Officer writing on sandbags. Source

Gas sentry writing a postcard. Source

Gunners. Source

Soldiers with letters in a captured German dugout. Source

Gas sentry. Source

Scottish soldier writing on a staircase to nowhere. Source

Portuguese soldiers writing. Source

Letters in the trenches. From the Dutch National Archives. Source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your pictures of so heartfelt and touching...could I please put one on my websight as I look for letters from families of loved ones during combat? Thank you!


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