Communication

Communication

Fragment of a letter showing the censor's blue pencil marks.
Men described the harsh life on the frontline.

Shivering in the cold, muddy trenches of the Western Front, many soldiers took comfort amid the horrors of the First World War by writing to their loved ones back home.

One Regimental Sergeant Major went to the battlefields in late 1914, leaving behind his pregnant wife and young daughter.

In moving letters, men described the harsh life on the frontline: freezing weather, lack of food and sleep, the noise of the guns and the constant bombardment from German munitions. But they managed to endure the risks to life and limb by thinking of their families.

Many tender letters included references to wives and children being constantly in the thoughts of the writers. They were often comforted by thoughts of happy lives before the war and the hope that many happy days together were still in store.

Normally, letters written in the field would be censored but never to the exclusion of the most poignant sentiments.

Tragically, so many of these communications arrived just after the writer had fallen.