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The Era of World War 1 - 1914-1918- Letters before and after trenches

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LETTER 1 - 9TH AUGUST 1914 Dear Family, Great news! It's not as bad as I first thought it would be. All my friends are here with me, supporting each other, talking and trying to make the war seem less demoralizing. We're all very patriotic and are almost certain that the war will be over by Christmas. I write this on board a boat that will leave for overseas soon. Our letters are all censored from now on so there is no use wasting my time and the censor's trying to tell you some things. The trenches we dug out are incredibly narrow; I can barely get through with all my equipment. ...read more.


The dugout is two metres high and lined with barbed wire and sandbags from the outside. A slight disadvantage is the weight of all the equipment I have on me: the rifle, eating tin, bayonet, water bottle, ammunition pouch, spade, boots and puttees. It can get tiring, carrying all of it, all of the time. Hope you are all well. The Allies will win this war. Yours sincerely, Stuart Dolden LETTER 2 - 2nd OCTOBER Dear Family, It's awful! I was told the war would be over by Christmas. What utter rubbish that was...it dragged on for four miserable years. The conditions are horrific, horrendous and hideous. ...read more.


Now, I and the remaining soldiers are almost certain we've lost the war. The lice are awfully, incredibly, dreadfully irritating. Along with the rats of which I loathe; the infinite number of flies buzzing in the trenches and the moan of dying soldiers. The sleeping conditions aren't any better. We have to sleep fully dressed, of course, this is very uncomfortable with the pressure of ammunition on one's chest restricted breathing; furthermore, when a little warmth was obtained the vermin used to get busy, and for some unexplained reason they always seemed to get lively in the portion of my back, that lay underneath the belt and was the most inaccessible spot. There's more to tell you but I am exhausted. Keep safe. Do not worry... Yours sincerely, Stuart Dolden ?? ?? ?? ?? David Rassam History Assessment ...read more.

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