Every page of this book is savagely poignant. The subjects are those which have not altered since wars beganÉthey downplay their heroism, grouse about the food, describe their love of home, lament the death of comrades, ponder the nature of the enemy, ask for news and provisions, comment on their leaders, and above all express their love for families and friends. The letters show that war is hell.
Over the last 100 years the Imperial War Museum has been gathering together a collection of tens of thousands of letters and archives from British and Commonwealth troops serving on the front line, in conflicts from the First World War through to the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Revealing the most intimate details of the lives of these soldiers, this collection uncovers the startling similarities between the men fighting in the muddy trenches of the Somme, yomping across the frozen ground of the Falklands and carefully picking their way through the heat and dust of Afghan wadis. Love, Tommy is a selection of some of the most emotive of these letters. Correspondence which includes poignant expressions of love, hope and fear sit alongside amusing anecdotes, grumbles about rations and thoughtful reflections, all of which reveal how, despite the passage of time, many experiences of fighting men are shared in countless wars and battles.