Author Archives: jbreeze

Letters of the First World War: “Excuse the writing”

Aged 17, Rifleman Stephen Brown wrote his third letter home from the army in the autumn of 1914. As October and November wore on, the mobilisation process was continuing, and teenage Stephen’s battalion, the 5th of the King’s Royal Rifle … Continue reading

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An Easter war wedding

‘War weddings’ were commonly reported in local newspapers throughout the war. As the First World War failed to be ‘over by Christmas’, late April 1915 brought the first wartime Easter holiday. A number of ‘war weddings’ were published in local … Continue reading

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Letters of the First World War: “I am getting on alright”

  In his second letter home, 17-year-old Stephen Brown settles into the army as war breaks out. After his emotional first letter home, which we posted last Wednesday, it seems Stephen Brown’s mother forgave him whatever he did to upset … Continue reading

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Letters of the First World War: Stephen Brown, 17

Stephen Brown joined the army in July 1914, a month before the First World War broke out. He was 17 years old. This is the first in a series of letters Stephen sent his family. A transcript is given below. Joining … Continue reading

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Medical advancements in the First World War

Alongside the horrors of trench warfare, the First World War led to advancements in medicine and surgery. Private Denis Bailie was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment when he suffered a gunshot wound to the face, seriously … Continue reading

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War poets of the VAD

When we talk about the ‘War Poets’, we often picture soldiers. But many poets and writers were active within the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD). Here are three female war poets, all of whom have a page on Lives of the … Continue reading

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Discovering the war poets

Discover more about the poets of the First World War. Many ‘war poets’ of the First World War are well known. Poems by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, for example, are widely studied in schools. A great many poets of the … Continue reading

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