I think the 20th century is the most exciting period of human history. It was full of bloody pages- wars, genocides, but it was also the era of uncountable discoveries and human development.

Starting from this blog post, I want to share with you quite interesting, yet less known stories about the most intriguing era of human history.My fist post is about WW1 soldier’s letters from the front line to their families and beloved ones.

The WW1 was a large-scale war that started in Europe and lasted four years (1914-1918) and took lives of more than 18 million people. Millions of young soldiers left their hometowns and families, they left their beloved ones and went to the frontline to defend their countries. Unfortunately, the war was too unjust to them. Most of the soldiers never came back, but their letters became breathless witnesses of the unaccomplished dreams, their hopes and their immense love towards their countries and families.

During WW1, the letters were the only way of communications between the soldiers and their families. Every week, more than 12 million letters were delivered to soldiers and back. Their letters were censored for the army’s security, i.e., they were not allowed to write any details about their place, or military operations, criticism about their officials and even the weather.  The letters were full of incredible beauty and warmth. Some of the soldiers were creating poems to describe their feelings; the others were using the most beautiful words to show their love towards their beloved ones.

I want to share with you some of the most beautiful letters. Except that those are breathtaking and poetic, one can see a huge pain that is hidden under the each word.

CSM Adams to his mother

“We are up here in the trenches these last few days. I am writing this letter on the side of the trench.

No less than five shells have burst beside me since I started to write. One may get used to rifle bullets and does, but you can never get used to the shells, they make such an awful noise … the German bullet is not made yet that is to kill me.

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.All in the parcel was alright…you must have spent some in packing it.”

 

This is my favorite one: ‘Villanelle’
Roland Leighton to Vera Brittain

Violets from Plug Street Wood,

Sweet, I send you oversea.

(It is strange they should be blue,

Blue, when his soaked blood was red,

For they grew around his head:

It is strange they should be blue.)

 

Think what they have meant to me –

Life and hope and Love and You

(and you did not see them grow

Where his mangled body lay

Hiding horrors from the day;

Sweetest, it was better so.)

 

Violets from oversea,

To your dear, far, forgetting land

These I send in memory

Knowing you will understand.

getimage-6-1

For more letters click here

References

http://www.ox.ac.uk/world-war-1/people/roland-aubrey-leighton

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/columnists/first-world-war-centenary-letters-from-the-trenches-reveal-horror-faced-by-our-boys-30480316.html

 

 

 

 

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