Letter to 1914
My gran used to talk about you, her unknown auntie. She thought you were glamorous and daring and really, really brave. She said she’d have done what you did, and work in a factory rather than be a servant. But, a gunpowder factory? Were you scared, or excited? Or just glad to get a job, never mind the risks? We’ve still got a photograph of you in your factory clothes. You won’t believe it, but we look a bit alike, my hair’s frizzy too. You wouldn’t catch me wearing a uniform though. Then again, when I think about the chances of me getting the job I want maybe I’ll have to…
Who are you going to write to who was alive in 1914?
Someone who you would like to have known. It’s that simple.
A member of your own family… Or someone whose name is on a war memorial in your town, maybe. Or, you could pick a famous person whose works mean something really special to you.
Of course, they might not have been a soldier. They might have been female ambulance driver, a doctor, or a factory worker helping the war effort. Or simply someone who never married because of the war.
Imagine what their life was like. You don’t have to do too much research. Just explain what made you choose them as your pen-friend across time.
Say why you’re interested in their life. And tell them a bit about yourself too, because maybe you aren’t so different, despite the time gap.
Once your letter is done, add some proof that the person you’re writing to really existed. Put this at the bottom of your letter, and you might feel just about ready to turn your attention to the future.
How long should your letter to 1914 be?
500 words will do the trick. The evidence that you provide, whether it is an internet reference or captions for photographs can be extra. What proof should you send? A photo, a web-link, a certificate… whatever comes to hand.