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Goodbye, Cecil, and remember I have some love for you, Dora 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Slack to Dora Willatt My dear Dora, For a long time before asking you to marry me I had been thinking things over and I was and am quite certain of my own feelings. I ought to have waited, for one thing, until the war was over, and for another until I had more idea of your feelings. A schoolboy love then – it often happens to schoolboys and then dies out. I love you together with my Mother and my Father and my honour, but on a different scale altogether.
That’s more than double the percentage of fighting soldiers who were killed in the Second World War (4.5%).
I have come into that little wood and am sitting under a tree only about 10 yards away from where we sat together and you asked me to marry you.
I would not dream of marrying if I had not a sound body.
That is one reason why I’m such a rotter for having asked you in the middle of the war.
Anyway, forgive me if you can, and I trust that you will still let us be friends, whatever happens. He would have waited in honour bound until you came home. Trusting this will find you in the best of health, I remain, Yours Very Sincerely, Ivy Dick to Molly Dear Molly, A Happy Christmas.
I am sending this to my aunt to forward to you as I do not know the address.I, the signer below, have a request to make of you.Although my husband has only been in the field for four months, I would like to ask you to grant him a leave of absence, namely, because of our sexual relationship. It is, of course, impossible for me to be satisfied in other ways, firstly, because of all the children and secondly, because I do not want to betray my husband.140,000 Chinese labourers served on the Western Front over the course of the First World War (40,000 with the French and 100,000 with the British forces). The open space between two sets of opposing trenches became known as No Man’s Land because no soldier wanted to traverse the distance for fear of attack.The climate in France and Belgium was quite wet, so No Man’s Land soon became a mud bath.Cecil survived the war and they married in 1919.) Ivy to Private John Bateman Beer 24 August 1917 My Dear Jack, For the last month I have been endeavouring to pluck up sufficient courage to write and tell you that everything must be over between us.No doubt you will think me awfully unkind and perhaps fickle to write this while you are away, but this matter has worried me a great deal, and I have been halting between two opinions, as to whether it would be kinder to let you know now, and let myself be called unfaithful, or to wait until you come home, although knowing all the time in my heart that I was untrue.You will notice I am saying “liking” – I have never thought whether I loved you or not – I knew you liked me, somehow, but I had not thought you loved me – it is why I had not thought of it so much, that it has been so hard to see if my “liking” for you had turned into love for you.Before I say any more I want you to think whether you yourself are quite sure you love me, and that when you asked me to marry you you were not influenced by any excitement of the moment – because you had not seen me for some time or because you were just going away.In fear of diseases (like cholera and trench foot) and of course, the constant fear of enemy attack.Trench warfare WW1 style is something all participating countries vowed never to repeat and the facts make it easy to see why.