Leeds Mercury 1914: Letters from the Front

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Following the outbreak of war in August, 1914, the Leeds Mercury encouraged readers to send in letters sent to them from relatives on active service. A century on, we are re-publishing a selection of these in the coming months.


Albert Raper, a first-class petty officer of HMS Talbot, writes to his sister and brother, in Leeds. “I cannot give you any news about our movements. It is against the rules to do so and it’s a jolly good job, too, for if it was not so many things would leak out,. We try to make ourselves as happy as we can in the shape of a sing-song occasionally. We have sent to Germany for a piano, but have just heard that the lines are blocked, so we shall have to wait and see.


Postcard sent by Ilkley Reservist, Frederick Charles Squibb from London Hospital.

“You will be greatly surprised to hear from me at the above address, but don’t worry, I am not wounded. I have only got a bad foot. About 400 of us arrived yesterday after Wednesday’s battle. I came through without a scratch, although our regiment lost heavily.”

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

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