Arthur's WW1 Letters - A First Hand Account of Edwardian Life and WW1 from an Extraordinary Perspective.
Arthur's Letters are an exceptional eyewitness account of WW1 and Edwardian times written at the front, from behind the lines, from the trenches, and from the home front. There is plenty of talk of mud and trenches, gas attacks, home front and society gossip, but most importantly Arthur's letters are an Edwardian and World War One human interest chronicle written by an intelligent and articulate observer from a very different perspective, not a tedious conventional history.
These primary source World War 1 and Edwardian letters home are an almost unique view of the First World War. Arthur writes about the people, social and political events of the day as they unfolded, and of course the battles and horrors he witnessed first hand. This is Arthur's eyewitness account of the early 20th century and WW1 and the rapidly changing times and culture he lived in, there is no political correctness, just an exceptional first person observation of a vanished society.
To help with your genealogy, family history and military genealogy research I have added a People and Places page, updated regularly. And of course there are site search boxes on every page.
Arthur also travelled around the world and sent a large number of letters home during the period 1892 -1920. I have also published some of those from the USA, South America, and Australia. I try to add new letters regularly. These letters also show a fascinating glimpse into the privileged world of an Edwardian gentleman, and a picture of the lost pre Great War world.
Extracts from Arthur's First World War Letters Home:
"Front trenches were 25 or 30 yards from the Germans, it seemed so extraordinary, at one point I went to the front line German trench was only yards off, it is hard to grasp unless one sees it." May 29th 1915
"One sleeps under trees, in cars, barracks in the woods, very airy ones, or caves! Mostly on a stretcher, not very comfortable." 13th June 1918
"At 2 we were warned of gas & had to put on our masks, when that was over the Bosches started Coup de Main & tremendous noise..." 5th August 1918
"If Allies ever do really win it looks pretty blue for Kaiser, Crown Prince & all leading Generals & people who sanction these things, surly they can never escape hanging." 2nd August 1916
As with all history try to read these letters without the benefit of hindsight, Arthur's letters tell the story of the moment. These bundles of letters are no longer forgotten dusty relics but have become a living and breathing testimony of life 100 years or so ago ...
Arthur’sLetters.com is proud to be a member of the Imperial War Museum Centenary Partnership and will be working towards ensuring that all "participants" in World War One are suitably remembered not just for the duration of the Centenary commemorations 2014-2018 but for future generations to come.
Arthur observes and writes about World War One in Ireland, England and France from a remarkable standpoint...
On the outbreak of WW1 Arthur was too old (42) to volunteer for Army service, instead he chose to work on the Western Front an unpaid volunteer ambulance driver, one of the WW1 "Gentlemen Volunteers". He worked under the French Red Cross, Section Sanitaire Anglais S.S.A. No.3, from early 1915 until 1919 and saw service along various parts of the Western Front. It should be remembered that the Western Front was over 400 miles long, stretching from the French and German border with Switzerland to the French and Belgian channel coast.
During the later war years, Arthur married and chose to make his home in London, and then Sunningdale, Berkshire. His life before and after WW1 seems to have been nomadic as he travelled extensively around the world. I have also now added a section for his pre world war one letters, a fascinating glimpse into the life of an affluent Edwardian era gentleman, almost a real life "Downton Abbey" lifestyle. He was of Anglo Irish landed gentry descent, born in County Kildare, a Roman Catholic, and was educated in England.
When transcribing these letters I leave the grammar etc. as it was written. I also omit the more mundane sentences or paragraphs, replacing these with "...", however I will revisit all of the letters in time. Text I have added for the sake of clarity is enclosed in [ ] brackets. Some of the words, place names or people names can be difficult to read and I replace those with "??????", but again I will revisit these letters and amend where possible.
Next Page - Family Background
Next Page - Family Background