Because Of You

Today is the anniversary of Britain entering WW1 this resonates with me for several reasons, outside our cottage is the War Memorial, I see it every single day, it’s visible from every room of our abode. Beloved & I are on the committee of the Memorial Hall, fulfilling various charitable roles of which we are very proud to be involved with. Also a few of years ago I attended an auction where I was the successful bidder on a lot of WW1 ephemera. Believe me the bidding was very fierce and it was not something I was going to relive to another, when the bidding was over there was a round of applause for my tenacity.

Lives unfold through these letters, I'm bewildered that a family member didn't collect theses mementoes of their ancestors
Lives unfold through these letters, I’m bewildered that a family member didn’t collect theses mementoes of their ancestors.

I sat down and read each letter one stormy winters afternoon, the conversational letters are one-sided as I only have the ones delivered to the wife, some are just every day notes concerning the weather and when is the best planting times for potatoes, other are more monumental discussing family matters such as the still birth of one of their babies, and the birth of their last child….from whom’s estate the letters came from.

So how did it all end ? Mr survived the war unscathed, yet never made it home as he succumbed to the 1918 flu pandemic.

Mr & Mrs .... Their photo puts a face to all the letters  I obtained. Mrs looks so very young while Mr looks so proud to be serving his country
Mr & Mrs …. Their photo puts a face to all the letters I obtained. Mrs looks so very young while Mr looks so proud to be serving his country

These letters are not stored away never to see the light of day, instead they go on show every Remembrance Sunday at an exhibition at The Memorial Hall presented by the village Historical Society, and have been exhibited in the local church to commemorate the loss of men and women in war.

It is because of such brave men and women I can live the life I choose, I’m indebted to each and every person who has entered combat.


14 thoughts on “Because Of You

    1. Indeed, the couples story will no doubt have been lost in time if it wasn’t for the letters sent home, in reality I should trace the family’s surviving members if there are any and return the letters & photos to their rightful owners, although it would be a wrench to let them go they are not really mine to keep, if someone contacted me with a distant relatives property I’d be overwhelmed with gratitude

  1. I could not agree more Mrs P, I belong to a tapestry group in Ellesmere Port where I live and we are currently stitching a commemoration piece of WW1, it is fascinating our group has had lots of history and stories from old soldiers etc. It is themed on Ellesmere Port old soldiers, we have a lot to thank them for, and the history needs to be carried on for further generations to know their roots.
    Sorry to ramble on but it really gets to me when I watch all the programs on the war. I really enjoy your blog keep on the good work x

    1. Many thanks for your wonderful comments. Your commemorative tapestry sounds amazing…..anything that keeps the social history of the sacrifice others have made on our behalf is to be congratulated, your piece will be treasured for sure adding another layer of history in memory of the fallen & those left behind

  2. You really are to be applauded for having the winning bid for these letters. It is so wonderful that you put them on display. As you say our veterans are to be thanked over and over for keeping our countries safe and free for us. But, sadly it does actually come at a terrible price sometimes. It is so sad the soldier made it through the war to perish by a disease.

    1. Dear Mrs must have been sooo relieved when war was declared over, I suppose when she was informed Mr had the flu she thought ‘Oh well, he’ll be home soon enough’ never realising that she would never see him again, so she was left with 3 young children without even a war pension….I wonder what became of her and their young family, I know the youngest survived to old age as it was from her estate I got the letters, but why did she have the letters and not either of her two older brothers… many unanswered questions deep sigh

      1. I can’t imagine what she thought when she heard he had died. It would be so hard to raise three children alone. And with no extra money coming in. War is so sad. And as you say there are so many unanswered questions in life. Only God has the answers and He only lets us know what they are when He is thinks we can handle it I guess. He has blessed so many with people like you. You seem to have a wonderful heart and happiness for things to make and do with the Memorial Hall. You make me glad to know you through your blogs. You brighten my day. I need to check my emails from my blog way more often than I have been lately. Have a wonderful day. And God Bless.

      2. Your kind words have touched my heart, I’m so very grateful for the life I have been granted to lead, the least I can do is to pay it forward whenever I can, I have to believe and have faith that for every heartache two uplifting moments occur, for every tear there is twice the amount of laughter and for every moment of despair someone somewhere is holding a hand and sharing a smile and kind word. God bless you too ❤

  3. I think it is lovely that you had the determination and interest to acquire those letters at the auction and more so that you also let them be available for others to read. It is very important that we remember why we have the lives we do now, and not to forget the great sacrifices made in the wars for us and future generations. Though it is incredibly sad Mr. suffered all he did during the war and then died tragically from the great flu epidemic. Mrs. like many other Mrs’s must have had a very hard life bringing up their family alone. Reading this post really should make us all think more how much we niggle and gripe about minor issues and problems, given what past generations have had to contend with!

    1. Many thanks for your comment, I as many others have been granted a very fortunate and sheltered life and with the best will in the world can not begin to comprehend such devastation war can entail, and due to the sacrifice of all who have entered combat on my behalf there is a massive possibility I never will, yet that very fact makes it even more important to me to give thanks to the fallen and those left behind.

  4. I applaud you for fighting to put in the winning bid for these letters, and for making them available to everyone in your village. Reading how ordinary people experienced the war makes us fully appreciate their upheaval and loss in a way that official reporting just can’t, and that’s what makes these letters so valuable. Thanks for sharing them with us!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂 I would have physically fought to get those letters LOL as I didn’t want such a treasure getting lost in the sands of time, after all these letters document a family growing, changing and ultimately torn apart,and the fact I get to share them with another generation is amazing

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