Today we are looking at Men of Letters WWI book by Duncan Barrett. The full title is “Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War” from 2014.
You will want to have your cup of coffee or hot tea ready before sitting down to read. When writing today’s post reading about the inspiration for the book, it has me being reminded of the book, WWI Letters Dear Boys In Service by Frank Skidmore we covered back in April. It also found me recalling the Wikimedia image of poppies from a 2015 blog post.
‘Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War’ book
The book first came out coinciding with the entrance of the UK into the World War I Centennial August 2014. It is about Great Britain Postal History during the Great War.
“He was in part inspired to write it after learning that his own great-great-uncle had fought alongside the Post Office Rifles at High Wood, although in a different London regiment.” – from Wikipedia
Reading the above about being inspired in part by having a great-great-uncle who fought during the same time frame of his book, it reminds me of the inspiration for the book WWI Letters Dear Boys In Service by Frank Skidmore. He does a beautiful job of weaving history around the family letters of his uncle, Carl Beard Skidmore, who died while serving in France. Back in April we had blog posts here about WWI letters given April 6, 2017, marked the centennial for America entering WWI.
Alan Johnson Foreword
Amazon will let you peek online and view the Foreword by Alan Johnson. It includes “…The story of how the General Post Office maintained an excellent postal service to soldiers and sailors in the First World War is an extraordinary one. What Duncan Barrett does in this book is to weave it in with the equally amazing story of how postmen fought in their own Post Office regiment throughout the conflict.”
Jo Woolf Book Review
While reading Jo Woolf’s excellent book review on ‘Men of Letters’ at The Hazel Tree website it was beautifully written expressing the poignancy of the topic. Seeing the Wikimedia photo of poppies she includes towards the end, brought to mind my using the same image in my post from 2015, “In Flanders Fields”.
Furthermore, I wanted to be sure to include this excerpt from her review –
“But that is just what Barrett has done in this moving and well-written account. Through their letters to families and loved ones at home, he traces the fortunes of men who joined the Post Office Rifles, leaving their jobs as post workers in the London suburbs and travelling to makeshift training camps where the atmosphere was one of rigorous discipline and boisterous camaraderie. For these soldiers, many of whom were just boys who had lied about their age, ‘going to the front’ probably sounded like a promotion. Little did they know what awaited them.”
From reading the Foreword by Alan Johnson to the review by Jo Woolf I find myself now ordering the book.
Join me tomorrow for my Saturday blog post as we head into the weekend.
Men of Letters WWI book by Duncan Barrett Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced today
Image above book cover Men of Letters, Amazon, by Duncan Barrett @BarrettsBooks
Wikipedia Men of Letters, excerpt.
Book review: ‘Men of Letters’ by Duncan Barrett; AUGUST 6, 2014, by Jo Woolf @TheHazelTreeUK. Excerpt.