Letters From The Front

In these days of Twitter, Facebook and email, receiving a personal letter is getting to be a rarity, but nonetheless something we all look forward to. Imagine what it was like a hundred years ago, long before personal computers had been invented. Almost all communication was by letter, with the postage stamps then costing one old penny for a letter, and a half penny for post cards.


In 2012 your local history society was fortunate to be given a large collection of family history by Mrs. Susan Buggins, whose family lived in Virginia Cottage (opposite The Bell on the High Street). Some of this collection consists of letters - many in their original envelopes. Mrs. Matthews, who was Mrs. Buggins’s maternal grandmother, bought Virginia Cottage in 1910, and fortunately for us she kept many personal letters that were sent to her.


Her son ‘Jim’, enlisted in 1915, and was called up for active service in ‘The Great War’ in January 1917. From then until his eventual death at the Front in August 1917, he wrote frequently to his mother. Mrs Matthews cherished this correspondence and about 50 cards and letters survive to this day, many in their original envelopes.


These letters are a poignant reminder of family life in Welford at the time, and also the realities of life and death on the front line.