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Letters from the past: your family memories

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Chris Vallance | 15:31 UK time, Monday, 3 November 2008

UPDATE: Many of you have shared your family stories of war over on the PM blog. This one from World War I is from Saraceno:

I was brought up believing that my father's father was The Unknown Soldier. He had died in the first month of World War I and was carefully but hastily buried nearby. The location was noted to let his widow return later.

After the war, my grandmother visited the area, to bring his body home for proper burial. The body was nowhere to be found; she was told that this was one of the places where bodies had been removed for an "Unknown Soldier" to be chosen. I'm sure it brought her much comfort.

Do you have a similar family story about war? Perhaps a family heirloom, a letter or object, that says something about an experience of conflict? Share what you know and leave a comment, we may feature your story in Saturday's programme.


We're interested in old letters this week on iPM. Why? Well back in June of 2007 I was sent this email from Bill Lamin.

"My Grandfather's Blog may be of interest.It is made up of letters that he wrote from the front in 1917. Each letter appears on the blog exactly 90 years after he wrote it. Coincidently the days of the week in 1917 are the same as in 2007. [..]

I have given no clues to his eventual fate. You have to read the blog to find out. I can reveal that he took part in the battle of Messines Ridge, the precursor to the third battle of Ypres."

Bill has continued to blog his grandfather's letters from the front, and the story of Harry's war has been reported around the world.

We're planning to talk to Bill on Saturday's programme, the day before Remembrance Sunday.

We're keen to hear from you if there's a similar piece of family history that you've uncovered. We're particularly interested in stories about war and conflict that have not been widely reported elsewhere. If you've a story to tell do get in touch.

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