The Letters of 1916 team would like to thank everyone who collaborated with us in 2016.
We look forward to working with you again in 2017 to continue growing the collection.
We have picked out some seasonal letters to give an idea of how letter writers from our collection spent Christmas a century ago.
In Christmas 1915, Emma Sylvia Duffin was a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in Alexandria in Egypt. On 29 December 1915, she wrote to her mother Maria. Snippets from her letters provide an insight into her experience as a VAD, for example, we find out that it rained on Christmas day that year in Egypt. Emma refers to this occurrence as “unfortunate in a country where it so seldom rains!”.
Another person who was away at this time was Robert Monteith. He wrote to his wife, Molly on Christmas Day from Germany, where he was assisting Roger Casement with the recruitment of an Irish Brigade from the prisoners-of-war there.
Lawrence Brown spent Christmas on board the H.M.S. Defence when he sent his love to his sisters and wrote that he was on his way to Malta or the Dardanelles. A little over 5 months later, the HMS Defence was sunk during the Battle of Jutland and Lawrence was killed. His body was never recovered.
Another volunteer nurse, Marie Martin, was in Malta for Christmas 1915. On 27 December, she wrote to her mother to describe Christmas Day, including her dinner of “Turkey & Ham, Plum Pudding & Port wine”.
Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous 2017.
Letters of 1916 team