Although the letter in ‘Scrap of Paper’ is fictitious, it reflects the words and feelings communicated over and over again from those at the front to those waiting at home.
This actual letter, dated June 1915, was sent by Pte Wood, of the 5th Batallion York and Lancaster Regiment, to his son, Jim. Pte Wood was on parade in the 5th Batallion film, featured earlier in this exhibition.
Here is an extract:
I hope that when you grow up there won't be a big war on like this but if there is I know you will be like me offer your services for your King and Country. It’s a terrible job out here Jim and brings the best out of every man. We have done things we didn't think we have got the pluck for, and then we haven't gone through it half as bad as some, of course it isn't too late yet and, as I cant see you to talk, I want you to do as your mother tells you and grow up to be a true man, better than ever your dad has been, and what ever you do leave cards and all manner of gambling alone. As your mother knows I don’t play cards so that is one evil I've escaped I will close now Jim wishing you every success in life I remain your loving dad xxxxx