My Dearest

My Dearest

‘My Dearest’ is an archive of over 400 personal ww1 letters between September 1915 and March 1919 plus photos and documents. These letters are easy to read, well written, informative and often humorous.

The two main correspondents are David, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, and May, his fiancée and the most senior woman working in a large insurance firm in London.

From a vivid description of Zeppelins over London, through officer training camp, a soldier in France and on the Western Front, as a Prisoner of War, and the endless wait to be demobilised, the letters from David provide an almost daily view of a soldier’s life.

The daily life of women during WWI plays a significant part in the letters, covering office politics, voluntary work to support the war effort, domestic and leisure activities, as seen through the eyes of May, David’s mother and sister, friends and family, all hoping for the soldier’s return home.

There are over 400 ww1 letters in the archive and we show you transcriptions and all the original letters in full on this website.

“At 6.30 physical drills until 7.  Breakfast 7.45 consisting of porridge, boiled bacon, bread and margarine (if you are lucky) and marmalade (if there is any left).  At 8.30 parades, which may be squad drill, platoon drill, company drill, or forty other kind of drill. Lunch from 1 to 2 o’clock.  Parade at 2, which may be trench digging, map reading and drawing.  Dinner at 5 pm. At 6 o’clock parade for a lecture until 7.  We have to be in bed at 9.15.  Lights out at 10”

Extracts from WW1 letter “Date Unknown, Year Doubtful” from David Henry Taylor in Hare Hall Camp, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA.

“Earlier in the evening a passing man said to me, « Another Zep raid tonight »  Then almost immediately two more booms, it struck me that it might be Zeps. Then there was a burst of firing and I saw my beauty just coming from behind some trees. It was really a beautiful sight, a large cigar shaped bar of silver, floating along, shining in the light of search lights ….”

Extracts from WW1 letter dated 4th November 1915 from David Henry Taylor in Balham, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA.

“I have been round to look at some of the damage.  Then bomb in Chancery Lane fell in the road just outside Stone Buildings, by the Safe Deposit, smashed all the glass around, knocked lumps of the stonework off. It has blown out all the glass on two sides of the building. It cracked two of the walls. The explosion ripped the whole thing from end to end, leaving just the roof trusses bare.”

Extracts from WW1 letter dated 4th November 1915 from David Henry Taylor in Balham, London to his sister Ginger (Ethel) Linn in USA.

There are 40 extracts from ww1 letters between Sept 1915 and March 1919 to give you a good overview of the archive and to whet your appetite.

There are dozens of photographs, post cards and various documents and items from the archive to give you a complete picture of the archive period.