Letters home

Despite the war, letters and postcards were sent between soldiers and their families.

Whether in training or at the front, there were long periods of inaction when servicemen could write letters, read or kill the lice in their clothes.

Letters took about two days to get from the front in France to home in Britain, and there was a constant exchange of letters and parcels between servicemen and their families and friends. The Post Office dealt with about two billion letters during the four years of the war.

This film is of a fictional character, Gladys. Everything she says is based on fact and what people were saying or doing in Bristol.


Stanley Booker joined the 12th Battalion, the Gloucestershire regiment and later transferred to the 7th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment. In training and in battle, he wrote regularly to his mother and friends. Within four weeks of landing in France he was writing of soldiers killed in trench warfare: ‘it is all in a good cause and one cannot help being proud of friends who have laid down their lives.’

Postcard of ‘The Soldier’s Dream’

There were many other letters sent during the war. Official letters told parents or wives that a serviceman was wounded or killed. Officers and nurses wrote letters of sympathy. Fellow servicemen sent letters of sympathy and money to the now-widows of their brothers-in-arms.