Letter To An Unknown Soldier

I saw this a while ago and I instantly loved it.

“A new kind of war memorial made by thousands of people… “

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of World War 1, our family has been affected by war. My mum was born in the 2nd World War and spent years saying goodbye to her Uncle as he went of on the ships and fought for his country. He is still around today and Baba loves to hear his war stories, his adventures and his tales.

Our family was affected most by war when Mr L’s best friend and Baba’s Uncle was killed fighting for our country. Baba knows more about war than he should, you can’t help it with what has happened. We started explaining things simply, but as he has got older he has asked more questions.

He knows war involves bad people, he recognises and is very respectful at war memorials and I think he will be pleased to have the option to be involved in this memorial.

In Paddington Station in London, on Platform One there is a statue of an unknown soldier, who is reading a letter.

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The letter is the main thing about this memorial, it is a memorial of just words and is the part we can all get involved in.

What would you say to this soldier 100 years on?

This memorial is created by Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger and they say this about the memorial;

“2014 is already proving to be a year jammed full of commemoration. For us, the creators of the project, it is important to move away from the usual imagery associated with war and commemoration.

We’d like instead to hear what people think what they really think and for them to write to the unknown soldier a letter. If they were able to speak to him now, with all that has been learned since 1914, and with all their own experience to hand, what would they say?

This is everyone’s chance to be part of a new national conversation about remembering the war, and to have their voice heard. Their letter will be published online alongside those of our commissioned letter writers, and the entire collection will be added to the British Library web archive at the end of the project.”

Your letter will be included with 50 distinguished writers from England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland including; Alan Hollinghurst, Andrew Motion, Bonnie Greer, David Almond, Esther Freud, Geoff Dyer, Lee Child, Sebastian Faulks, Sheila Hancock, and Stephen Fry.

You can be an adult or a child to take part there are resources on the website and lesson plans to help you to write your letter.

Letters can be submitted from now and from June 28th until the 4th August, letters will be posted online as they are submitted and will be searchable by theme, keyword and geographical origin. After August the 4th the memorial will be archived to the British Library for generations to see.

You can submit your letter via the website here.

So what would you write to the unknown soldier?

My letter would be this;

I don’t know you, I never will how could I born some seventy years after the event. But I thank you.

I thank you for my freedom, my life that I have now, for all the things I was able to do.

I thank you for walking out to fight, something you must have been so scared to do.

I thank you for leaving your family, your loved ones behind.

I thank you for seeing the unthinkable and carrying on.

I thank you for fighting

Fighting till the end

Loosing fellow friends, people you loved and trusted and continuing

I thank you for seeing the worst things a man should see

I thank you for being you

It takes a special man

A really special man to walk out and protect and fight

And fight to the bitter end

I don’t know you I never will but I thank you

I thank you for my life

My sons lives and for what you gave us

I wish I knew you

To say thank you to your face

Thank you for all you did



2 thoughts on “Letter To An Unknown Soldier”

  • I think this is a brilliant idea and I am off to the website now. Living close to the Normandy beaches we have had a lot of celebrations linked to their 70th anniversary of D-Day and WWII … we should also say some of the things that we write in letters to a WWI soldier to the WWII soldiers who are still with us.

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