very important to soldiers at war. It took a long time for them to
arrive, sometimes months. They helped to cheer up the soldiers and
reminded them of what was waiting for them at home.
War Two soldier sorting letters at Cairo Base post office
The soldiers would write home
to their families. At first their letters were quite brave and positive:
"Today you should have seen the look of determination on the
faces of all ..."
But as the the fighting got worse, so did their letters:
"I am not going to tell you a lie and say I wasn't afraid, because
I was ..."
Soldiers who were hurt badly and knew they were going to die would often
write a final letter home, or get a nurse to write one for them. These
letters were very sad.
"You must be prepared for the worst to happen any day. It is
no use trying to hide these things. I am in terrible agony ..."
As well as sending letters
to the soldiers, families would also send comfort parcels. In these parcels
they would put treats for the soldiers. Some of the things they would
send included: tobacco, cakes, biscuits, condensed milk, newspapers, knitted
socks, chewing gum, writing pads, handkerchiefs, soap, combs, sewing kits
Soldiers needed to send messages
quickly to each other about the fighting. In the first World War they
couldn't just pick up a phone! One way to send messages, was to use
Ships could do this using lights.