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Norfolk siblings letters tell of life during First World War

The Armistice celebrations in Norwich were celebrated with photos from the official photographer, Mr. G Swain. During the First World War, family and friends anxiously waited for news through letters from their loved ones who were fighting. Philip and Ruth Hewetson were the children of the Rector of Salhouse, and they both wrote letters during this time.

Philip’s letters contain over 250 letters from August 1914 to May 1918, while Ruth’s contain almost 60 letters from April to October 1918. Philip was an officer in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and his letters discuss life in the trenches. He was wounded at the Battle of Loos and was later found to be unfit for active service. However, he finally persuaded authorities to allow him to return to active service in France in 1918 before his death.

Ruth was a pupil at Norwich High School for Girls and became a General Service Manager in the Voluntary Aid Development during the war. The letters show her growth and development during this time, including her increased confidence and the tasks she carried out at the hospital. The letters provide detailed and vivid descriptions of the experiences of Norfolk men and women during the First World War and are of great importance.

The collection of letters was published by the Norfolk Record Society and can be purchased for £18 on their website with a 20% discount code for readers of EDP/EN until December 31, 2023. The letters, along with the photographs, provide valuable insight into the experiences of Norfolk men and women during the First World War and are an important part of the historical record of this time period.

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