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Did Poems, Paintings, songs, stories, and Films about the western Front give a more accurate picture of soldiers’ experiences than official accounts?

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Introduction

Did Poems, Paintings, songs, stories, and Films about the western Front give a more accurate picture of soldiers' experiences than official accounts? 1st May 1915: William Milton, foreman of Lyons Hall farm, dose not approve of all the recruiting posters on tree trunks and walls. "If the government want more men let them take idlers not workmen. Unless the war is over before August there will not be enough men for the harvest". The men say 'we will go when we like, or when we are ordered.' Conscription being just, would be welcome. 9th May 1915: The annoyance of the farm-labourers with the recruitment campaign is show by the fact that every recruitment poster has been torn down. This is an unofficial document and is a personal account of what farmers in Essex felt about the pressure put on men to join the armed forces. It was written in the diary of an Essex Clergyman, the reverend Andrew Clark. It tells us that the farmers were none to happy about the government taking all the workmen and believed that the country would soon be in ruin if the war didn't end by August. ...read more.

Middle

This source however tells me what people opinions were at the time because many people believed in the government propaganda. This source is an opinion and not fact and is bias towards the Germans but does not give any information about what conditions were like in the western front. Official document sent by solider fighting in the front included postcards and the Green envelope, which had a 'Honour clause'. The Service postcard had an outline which the soldiers would just delete were appropriate. The Green envelope had a certificate on it, which the soldiers would sign before posting their letters. The certificate says that the writer of the letter will not enclose any information about the war. This was because of spies and also morale at home would be very bad if people knew what conditions the front line was. This official document again tells me know detail of what the conditions were like in the western front but it does show that the Government was fearful of spies. The next sources is an extract from the Wipers Times this extract makes the western front sound like a holiday came which of course it was not. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shrapnel and metal fragments flew in all directions. Some shells hit the ground and become death traps when full of water. This source is useful in telling us what the dangers the soldiers in the western front had to face. It talks of the night attacks and what their tactics were. What they would do is to attack the enemy positions with a bombardment of shells then release star shell so the could see where the enemy were. It tells us of one of the major dangers soldier faces when attacking at night, the shell holes flooding with water, which would drown the soldiers, as they were heavy with all the equipment. This source tells us in detail what fighting conditions were like but has no information on what their occupation were like. This is however a reliable sources, as it is a written first had account. Official and unofficial sources differ great while official are factual they only tell us what the government what people to hear as all media at the time was censored. Unofficial sources are more on soldier's experiences and while are not propaganda are some time biases. I have in turn concluded that unofficial accounts are much better at painting a picture of what the hell on earth called the western front was really like. By William Cheung ...read more.

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