Soldiers' Letters from the Frontline Chart an Emotional Journey through War History; EVERY LETTER WANTED TO SAY TO SOMEONE 'I LOVE YOU'
Byline: CLARE HUTCHINSON
* OME are sorrowful, others matter-of-fact - while one or two are even humorous.
Farewell letters from servicemen on the front line to their loved ones back home are the subject of a new book by a Welsh historian and TV producer.
Sin Price began researching the subject when her friend, Siobhan McClelland, was forced to pull out of a radio programme and she took over.
That chance job led to the idea for her book and three years of research that took her as far afield as Australia, Japan and the USA, visiting museums and record offices and trawling through thousands of letters home.
The final result, called If You're Reading This... charts an emotional course through farewell letters from the Napoleonic Wars to Afghanistan. Ms Price, who lives and works in Cardiff, said: "Overwhelmingly, every letter wanted to say to someone, 'I love you' and 99.9% all said that.
"But looking over a course of 300 years you start to see a real change in soldiers. In the American Civil War the letters were all very religious, but also very politically savvy.
"In the First World War they are all letters to mothers, which gives you a clue as to the age of the soldiers, while in both the First and Second World Wars there is a belief that they are going to change the world and make the world a better place.
"When you get to the Falklands and Iraq and Afghanistan you get a sense of people wanting to do a …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Soldiers' Letters from the Frontline Chart an Emotional Journey through War History; EVERY LETTER WANTED TO SAY TO SOMEONE 'I LOVE YOU'. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales). Publication date: November 11, 2011. Page number: 18. © 2009 MGN Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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