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World War One (letter From The Trenches)

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#1 Shaw

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 12:34 AM

The directions say{Imagine you are a young soldier sent to fight on the Western Front during World War One. Describe your experiences in the trenches in a letter to your parents. You should include ALL of the following words in your letter : trench,dug out, no man's land, barbed wire, mud(muddy), machine gun, lice, flies, rats, smell, gas, gas mask, rifle, soldier, rations, bombing, and trench foot.} but i don't understand how to use those in a letter....i need help starting it off!!!! HELPPPPPP!!!!!!PLEASEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! :unsure: :warning:

#2 Mr Field

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 12:47 AM

With a more sensible username and a more sensible way of asking would be good. N.B. I've now changed your username.

To complete this task, you need to write a letter about the conditions in the trenches. So start it, "Dear Mother and Father...." and then describe the conditions in the trenches by working through each of the words you have to include in turn.

Explain what a dug out is, what no man's land is and how you have to cut through the barbed wire. Talk about the awful conditions mentioning how muddy it is, how dangerous it is with both sides having vicious machine guns. Then talk about how it is difficult to wash and how horrible it is around dead bodies with the remaining other things you have to cover.

You use all those terms in a letter simply by describing what life is like on the Western Front. Have a look here for some Primary Source examples:

#3 Miss Buxton

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 09:41 PM

Mr Field has given you some fantastic tips on how to write your letter from the trenches.... :D

When writing your letter put yourself into the 'boots' of a First World War soldier, use your knowledge and imagine what the soldiers must have experienced (use your senses):
What did they see?
What would they have heard?
What would they have smelled?
What would they have touched?
What would they have tasted?
What would be going through the mind of the soldier, hopes, fears, worries,? (his thoughts)

Hope this helps...

#4 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 10:45 AM

As this is the most popular choice for a letter from the trenches, I have added some of the links from other threads. Thanks go to Miss Buxton, Mr. Field, Mr. Clare and others.

I would recommend everyone to look at this thread which gives excellent advice on how to structure the letter as well as pointing out various problems.

One problem is that all soldiers' letters (not those of officers) were supposed to be censored, although not all were. For more on this aspect, as well as actual copies of soldiers' letters, see this page from the Spartacus Schoolnet site. Please note that all the letters featured come from 1914-1915 and thus do not necessarily represent soldiers' views later in the First World War.

There is a fascinating collection of letters from one soldier here.

For anyone wanting more detailed information on soldiers' letters, there is an article here.

There is a 'virtual tour' of a trench on the BBC website on this page.

The splendid 1914-1918.net site has a section on life in the trenches.

I hope that this is helpful.

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