FROM THE FRONT, edited by Belford Hidden History Museum. Available from Belford Community Shop (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). £4. Softback.
ILLUSTRATED with Imperial War Museum archive photographs, this book contains excerpts from letters either sent by soldiers serving on the Western Front in 1914 and 1915 to family and friends in the North East and the Borders, or published in the local press.
The letters reflect the wide range of situations and emotions these young men experienced. One local man who fought in the Battle of Mons, Gunner B. Wiseman, sent a remarkable letter to the Newcastle Journal revealing how his life had been spared by an enemy officer:
“Our battery had fired their last round. The Germans were only 300 yards away. The order was given ‘Retire, every man for himself’. The Germans rushed up and I lay helpless. A German pointed his rifle at me to surrender. I refused, and was just on the point of being put out when a German officer saved me. He said: ‘English man brave fool’. He then dressed my wound, gave me brandy and wine, and left me.”