When war breaks out those that are impacted the most are the families that are left behind such as the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and sweethearts who are left to wonder what will happen to their loved ones. During World War One the only means of contact between soldiers and their families was through letters and/or postcards or in cases of emergency through telegrams. Families often did not know what was taking place until three or four weeks later when letters would arrive or news would appear in the local newspapers.

It was approximately two weeks after July 1, 1916 before the families knew what had actually happened at Beaumont Hamel and at least that long if not longer before they knew if their loved ones were killed, missing or wounded. For families it must have been devastating to get the news through a telegram or a visit from the clergyman that their loved one had been killed or was unaccounted for.

In this section of the virtual exhibit we will present some of the correspondence from before the soldiers were shipped overseas and the pleas from some parents for their return to their families You will also be able to read correspondence between soldiers and their families during the lead up to the fighting at Beaumont Hamel and directly after it. You will see that the soldiers were not afraid to fight and were actually looking forward to getting their opportunity to fight the enemy and to defend their King and Country.

This section of the exhibit will provide you with examples of the correspondence that was being sent home from these young men at the front; excerpts of diaries; postcards; letters to the editor that appeared in the papers after the battle and much more. Here you will get to know these soldiers and their personal hardships that they endured and will see the impact that the loss of their lives had on those that were left behind.


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