During the First World War, letter writing was the main form of communication between loved ones, helping to ease the pain of separation. In the days running up to Valentine’s Day we will share love letters and Life Stories on Lives of the First World War Facebook and Twitter
One of the poignant love stories featured is that of John and Elizabeth Mudd.
- Jack Mudd
John, known as Jack, Mudd was born in London in 1886. Before the war he worked as a butter blender. Jack married Elizabeth Hart (Lizzie) in 1908, and the couple had three children – Mary (born in 1909), John (1911) and Ann (1913).
- Jack’s love letter
During the war, Jack served as a Private in the London Regiment. In a letter that he wrote home on 22 October 1917, Jack expresses in simple but moving words his deep love for his wife and children, his anxiety over their safety as a result of the air raids on London and the spirit of comradeship that existed between him and his pals.
“I love you more than ever … I often take your photo out of my pocket and look at your dear face and think of the times we have had together” Extract from Documents.1174
It is believed that this was Jack’s last letter home – he was reported missing just four days later during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and his body was never recovered.
Lizzie eventually remarried but for the rest of her life, she kept Jack’s last letter, papers and service medal close to her.