Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Letters from soldier in WWI draw readers to episodes posted on blog

Bill Lamin found letters written by his grandfather Harry Lamin during World War I. Bill created a blog, WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier, posting each letter on the day it was written almost a century ago. The result has amazed him. He’s received so many letters and email messages he had to create another blog just for those. He doesn’t mind the hard work though, noting in a message to readers at the letters blog, “Finally, I do really welcome comments and emails. They have made all the hard work well worthwhile.”

Bill Lamin is creating an incredible resource for writers, students and history buffs. I remember the feeling of awe the first time I read a letter written by my great-uncle who served in France after registering for the draft in South Carolina in 1918. I still have my uncle’s dog tags. If the house caught fire, that would be one of the first inanimate objects I’d grab. That Lamin chose to post the letters free to the public is a phenomenon in the profit-driven publishing world.

The 1917 poster shown here is from a collection featured at the Department of the Army; the artist was Sidney H. Riesenberg.

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