Letters from the Trenches – The First World  War by Those Who Were There


By Jacqueline Wadsworth

Pen & Sword, £ 19.99p, 174pp

ISBN: 978–178–159–284–7


Book Review by Louise Gaede

In the trenches much of the soldiers’ spare time was spent writing letters to loved ones at home.

Many of these have been preserved and now offer deeply personal insights into the conditions and emotional impact on the men in service and the family and friends they had left behind.

Through collections of privately owned letters the author offers moving and insightful first–hand accounts of the various stages of the war and the personal impressions and hardships of wives, mothers and daughters who had to bidden farewell to their loved ones – some of them for good.

Jacqueline Wadsworth appealed for letters through newspapers and the media and, understandably, most of are from soldiers fighting the Allied cause. However, this does give the collection a degree of ‘one–sidedness’ and I longed to read accounts of Germans, Russians and other nationalities. Nonetheless, Wadsworth’s contribution to the effort of understanding the influence of war on the minds of soldiers and their families is a heart–rending yet hopeful and, at times, even warm read and worthwhile if you wish to learn more about the lives of those who lived through the Great War.


This review featured in the June/July 2017 Special Edition of Stand To! This print magazine is sent to all WFA members three times a year. Details on joining the Western Front Association