Ninety seven years ago today, my Great Uncle Charlie wrote this letter to his sister just before shipping out to fight in the Great War:

C. Company 11th Essex
B.E Force

December 14th

Dear Alice,

Just a few lines in answer to your kind letter. Was glad to hear you was quite well and at present I am quite alright myself.

I received mother’s parcel quite safe and I might add, its nearly all gone now. Thanks for the cake, it was very good. Well, I expect, I shall spend this Christmas in the trenches. Still don’t mind it won’t make much difference wherever we are, and I don’t suppose there will be much doing.

I hope you will all have a Happy Xmas at home, and don’t worry about me as I shall be alright. I may be trying to give some poor German a Christmas box if I can.

Well, what do you think of Mabel’s latest photo. I think it’s very good.

I got a parcel from Mrs. Bellamy and also one or two other small things that have been sent for us.

Well, I think this is all just now. Don’t work too hard this Christmas. So now I will close with Fondest Love From your Loving Brother.