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An Alternative Primary Source View Of the War


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#1 Indifferent Arthur

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:29 PM

Hello All
I posted before on the Websites area of this Forum, but the content of my site www.arthursletters.com will also be of interest to those wanting another view of the conflict, and also an insight into popular opinion of the day. Arthur Dease was an educated man from a wealthy Anglo Irish background, and was not afraid of stating his point of view on the politcal situation in England, Ireland and of course the rest of the world. Beyond the horrendous slaughter of the front lines there was also another world existing, that of the people behind the lines and the people at home, many of whom were determined to "do their bit" however small.

Arthur was a volunteer ambulance driver and served from January 1915 to January 1919, he encountered some awful situations first hand. These first person, primary source accounts of the war and of life at the time are often written under extreme stress and anger, and in the most difficult places. They are written from the heart.

When reading these letters sometimes you need to think of Lieutenant George (Hugh Laurie) of Blackadder fame, for example 25th March 1915 - The Germans had just dropped a bomb in a wood............. "We got the bomb, it made a good hole.....so I thought I'd send it home..........I took it to the P.O. and asked them if I might send a bomb by post, they seemed amused.........

I still have at least 70 letters to add, he and his mother were prolific letter writers! Other letters describe the social scene of wartime London, the upper classes were a very close bunch of people! With most of the letters so far added to the site I have ignored most of the social chit chat but will add this as Arthur's story becomes clearer to me.

The example above is in no way meant to demean Arthur and his collegues, since transcribing these letters I have been amazed by the bravery and determination shown by Arthur and the people he worked with, he must have had a very good coping mechanism, he was in his mid to late forties when he served. Arthur was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1917.

This is not a commercial website and trust me, I invest many many hours of my own time in it! I can see from the users visiting the site that a great many come from the world of education, I hope the site proves useful as a teaching resource, in that respect, or if there are any others wanting further information or scans please do not hesitate to contact me. Most of all enjoy the read!


#2 LiamS

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:07 PM

Thanks a lot, I look forward to reading it. It's great to get such a perspective on the war.

This website may be of interest as it contains similar themes

http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en

Liam

#3 archangel9

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:21 PM

Thanks very much for the link, will make very interesting and informative reading no doubt.

John

#4 Indifferent Arthur

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

Thanks Liam, I shall take a good look at this site.
Cheers

Thanks a lot, I look forward to reading it. It's great to get such a perspective on the war.

This website may be of interest as it contains similar themes

http://www.europeana1914-1918.eu/en

Liam



#5 MichaelBully

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

Thank you for posting, I have started reading the letters on the site. Fascinating. Regards, Michael Bully

#6 munster

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

Started reading them yesterday and enjoying them thank you for posting.john

#7 Indifferent Arthur

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:36 PM

Thank you for posting, I have started reading the letters on the site. Fascinating. Regards, Michael Bully


Thank you very much, I still have at least 70 or so too add with some great content I am sure. I really want to try to get more recognition for people like Arthur. I know he had a privileged background and life, but he still did his bit for no pay, just an allowance to cover the basics. It has really been a voyage of discovery for me, and I hope others find the same.

Of course as the site evolves I will try to add cross references to other sources etc., but at the moment its a case of transcribing as much as I can.

Thanks again
Kevin

#8 Indifferent Arthur

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:40 PM

Started reading them yesterday and enjoying them thank you for posting.john


Hello John

Glad you are enjoying them! I try to add new content every day, I still have at least 70 to add. He must have spent most of his time letter writing, these are just the ones to his mother, he talks about many more letters he sends and receives, not to mention the regular newspapers and hampers etc!

Thanks
Kevin



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