Need inspiration for our Letters Home competition?

21st November 2016

Have you heard of ‘Letters of Note’? It is a website of the same name that attempts to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos and display them online. We came across this letter on the ‘Letters of Note’ website. It was written by Pte John Shaw of the Royal Fusiliers in October 1916 as he lay injured on the battlefield of the Somme.


‘My Dear Mother

Am just dropping you a line to let you know I am wounded. We went over the top on Sunday 8th and I got wounded. I managed to crawl back to our lines an unrecognised regt, worse luck and here I am. Been here 4 days today & dying for a drink. Someone run into us the other day and promised to get us out of it. But we are still here. Never even brought us any water. I have been shot through the hips and cannot use my right leg, properly knock up. Pity, when one gets a blighty one too, after so long.

Well darling, I am still cheerful of getting home. If not you will receive this letter which they surely will send to know I died for my country and home like a man. I am laying writing this on the Somme Battle. It is some battle too, I can tell you. The noise of the shells and guns worry the life out of anyone. Well dearest I am going to try to get out tonight if it gets quieter. Then you won’t receive this letter. Well darling I must close now trusting this will find dear old Dad, Harry and Freddie in the best of health. Sorry I cannot say the same.

Your loving son

PS Remember me to all the girls. Dear Alice, Ada and Tina. Also Alf. Tell them I died the death of a soldier and man. Whatever you do, dear, don’t worry yourself. Promise me that. All for a good cause.’

If you are searching for that extra piece of inspiration for our ‘Letters Home’ competition or just perhaps interested in what life was like for soldiers during the First World War then please feel free to visit the Letters of Note website using the link below: