A Letter From The Front…

Gilbert E Hawker

Today being the anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, I wanted to share this poignant letter my grandmother received from the front in 1915 – sent by her pre-war sweetheart shortly before he died:  You can also hear the audio version of the letter here.

My Dear May,

I am attempting to answer your epistle of loving cheer under somewhat trying circumstances. I am sitting next to a rather warm stove in a dark corner of a typical Flemish estaminet. The company talks Flemish, French and English, and are kicking up an awful row.

A young lady of ample proportions is ironing sundry domestic garments on my right side, six Life Guards are blessing the service to my front and my friend is chattering vile French on my left flank. All over pervades the odour and noise of two small children and a dog. The usual glass of watery beer is… Read more

Ypres: Menin Gate

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More…

Comments are now closed for this article.