Letter from the trenches essay

Life in trenches ww1 essays.

Letters from the trenches in WW1 - GCSE History - Marked by glichbogosulre.ga

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At the Battle of Mons, 23 August the Germans appeared to be in overwhelming numbers against us. It was murder but our retreat was a very good move I joined the No. Well, I was 57 days there when I was hit by a 'coal box' high explosive German artillery shell. The shell hit burst about 30 yards from my detachment, killing the officer, a sergeant and a gunner, while I was wounded in the right leg by a piece of shrapnel, which hit the gun wheel first, afterwards going into my leg.

Dear Robbie, Just a few lines to let you know that I am keeping well and I hope that you are keeping well also. I received your parcel of cigs and I thank you very much for them.

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Tell Francie Mallon I got his photo and it was very nice. How is all the boys getting on? I suppose you have a notion of listing on the Army. We have good sport here, we have plenty of football, 'A' company beat us and we got knocked out of the 66 Francs. We are up here in the trenches these last few days. I am writing this letter on the side of the trench.


One may get used to rifle bullets and does, but you can never get used to the shells, they make such an awful noise I must thank you for what you sent me in your parcel. You are so awful good to me. I do not know how I will ever repay you. Dear Father and Mother, I feel it is more than time that I wrote and told you something of the war. I am still writing to Mr Gaffikin about his son George. He got his death wound when fighting desperately side by side with me in the wildest hand grenade and machine-gun fight man could live or die in.

I am said to have absolutely no nerves. I saw over a hundred of our men blown to fragments by a big shell about yards from where I was lying. It's turned midnight and I think I will sleep now. Just a few lines in reply to your kind and ever welcome letter and glad to see by it that you are all well at home.

Out of the Trenches

Here is a bit of poetry I made up in the trenches to my mother so don't laugh as it is my first attempt:. I thank you all for your kind thoughts of me and also for the very useful box of comforts you sent. The box contained just the things that are needed I think most by the men in the trenches.

Socks are in great demand when the weather is bad and mud is everywhere, and the mitts and woollen headgear are desirable if not essential, when the weather is cold. We'd both kinds of weather on our last trip in the line so you can imagine how thankful I was that your parcel arrived the day before we went into the trenches.

I am now on rest enjoying good health and am expecting to get leave soon. Again thanking you all for the parcel of comforts and trusting that before long we may see the end of the awful conflict. Very many thanks for letter and parcel received. Glad to hear the kit arrived safely and that John got another of the parcels sent on from France all right. We enjoyed the cake etc very much.

And there was also war correspondence between friends back home. Dear friend Mary, I saw in the newspaper that your brother has died of wounds in France. I am sorry that one so dear to you is dead and I want you to know how I feel about it. I said a prayer and lit a candle for him at Mass on Sunday.

WWI Letters Home

You may think it will do him no good but it eased the burden I have in my heart for you. May God protect you and all your family. Love Lizze. I am in a hospital wounded. I got it on 11th March at Neuve Chapelle, a bullet through my left forearm and a piece of shrapnel shell in the upper part of my right leg. It was something dreadful to see how some of the men were suffering. I had to crawl on my hands and knees to the dressing station. I shall never forget that battle.

My company suffered most, there are only four of us left out of and I consider myself lucky getting off with wounds.

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The Germans were cut to pieces and lost thousands. Although Laurie Rogers heard often from his daughter, his seven-year old son preferred to play, to skate, and to avoid the tedium of letter-writing period. Mothers were, in the main, more reliable correspondents than young children, although the semi-schooled women of rural Europe often struggled to put pen to paper. Rosa Pireaud, less literate than her son, daughter-in-law, or husband, battled fatigue and her own sense of inadequacy when she wrote to her son.

For married men, nothing mattered more than the regular — often daily — receipt of letters from their wives. Wives wrote about many things: the price of coal, the precarious state of the harvest, and the precious antics of infants. They complained about their neighbors, provided updates on the condition of sick children, and offered commentary on international politics.

margaretgarvey.com/nepi-tool-to.php Nothing was more important, however, than their avowals of affection. I forget that a he is away; b no prospect of leave; c I am darned tired of the lonely life. Women knew that they were not supposed to say anything to cause anxiety or contribute to demoralization in the front-lines; but they also knew, because their husbands and sons insisted upon it, that they were expected to tell the truth about developments at home.

If a child was sick, family living arrangements stressful, or food shortages critical, then the men in the front lines wanted to be told. Thus letters from home spoke not only of love, loneliness and the persistent anxiety known only to families separated by war, but also of the material difficulties that became ever more pervasive in the last years of the war. When compared with the plight of families in central and Eastern Europe, civilians in Britain and France were well off. Even more dreadful were the fear and terror that accompanied bombing raids. In November , rumors of a serious raid over London alarmed British soldiers in France who feared for the safety of their families at home.

I shall look for letters to reassure me. When I shut my eyes can see those huge things like great blackbirds right over us In the Central Powers, where food shortages endangered the health of civilians, women were entirely indifferent to the injunction that they were to suffer in silence.

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  • Letters from the trenches in WW1?
  • Everyday she goes without breakfast Insofar as they challenged the legitimacy of the state, exposed its inability to provide civilians with the necessities of life, and ignored injunctions to suffer in silence, they were acts of political and cultural defiance. Correspondence and the parcels that periodically alleviated the misery of front-line service were critical components of wartime life for soldiers and their families.

    Literacy made the regular exchange of letters possible; longing for home and safe reunion made it necessary. Women at home — mothers, wives, and sisters — were thus less insulated from unsettling knowledge of conditions at the front than we have long believed. They did not know, as soldiers knew, what it was to endure the hell of the trenches; but they were not entirely ignorant, either. Its conversational character allowed wives, mothers, and children, as well as husbands, sons, and fathers, to affirm their affection while also giving voice to their anxieties.

    The regular exchange of letters, parcels and postcards thus offered soldiers and their families emotional sustenance and psychological consolation.


    When read in its entirety, the family correspondence of the Great War demonstrates that neither soldiers nor civilians accepted uncritically the right of the state to censor their thoughts and render mute their grievances. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. DOI : Version 1. By Martha Hanna. At certain times, particularly at the end of the year, the traffic intensified and grew to approximately 5,, This counts only letters sent to the front as correspondence from the front did not pass through the BCM. This correspondence was more or less the same as that going in the other direction.

    Correspondence of Gunner Wilfrid J. Wilfrid Cove to Ethel Cove [December ]. Although every effort has been made to identify the birth and death dates of all individuals cited in this essay, this information is not readily available for everyone, including the Coves.

    In general, such biographical data are more accessible for the men who served in uniform than for their mothers, wives, and children. Correspondence of Wilfrid Cove. Wilfrid Cove to Ethel Cove, 14 November Correspondence of Lawrence Rogers. Anna Chapin Ray, Boston, , p. Sergeant Valois to Mme Masson, undated. Paul Pireaud to Marie Pireaud, 13 March , 28 March all subsequent references to the Pireaud correspondence will be to this collection; Maret, Fernand: Lettres de la guerre , Nantes , p.

    Letter dated 22 February Correspondence of Herbert Oates.