Letters sent home to Australia from soldiers to family and friends were sometimes published in local newspapers during the First World War, so that their news could be shared with their local communities. As was the case at the time, these letters give an insight into the individual war experiences of these soldiers.
In the course of my research I have found some letters written by several Coo-ees which were published in local newspapers during the First World War, including The Wellington Times, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, The Nepean Times, and The Farmer and Settler. A selection of these letters will be included in this blog, which cover:
- the voyage on the Star of England troopship from Sydney to Egypt (which took the majority of the Coo-ees overseas),
- the first experiences of some of them “over the top” in the trenches,
- the loss of some of the Coo-ees in battle,
- the experience of one as a prisoner of war in Germany,
- how much the Coo-ees valued letters they received from home, and
- the importance of the socks and other comforts sent overseas to the soldiers.