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* KATE PULLINGER AND NEIL BARTLETT LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER 1418NOW.org.uk/letter1418NOW.org.uk/letter.

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Presentation on theme: "* KATE PULLINGER AND NEIL BARTLETT LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER 1418NOW.org.uk/letter1418NOW.org.uk/letter."— Presentation transcript:

1 * KATE PULLINGER AND NEIL BARTLETT LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER 1418NOW.org.uk/letter1418NOW.org.uk/letter

2 * Why do we have memorials? Cenotaph in Whitehall © Creative Commons Memorial statue © Creative Commons Poppy wreaths at a memorial © Creative Commons

3 * HMS VERDUN carrying the body of the Unknown Soldier to Dover at Boulogne Harbour, 10 November 1920 © IWM The Unknown Soldier During the First World War over 800,000 British soldiers were killed during the war, but the vast majority of the dead were never brought home.

4 * The Unknown Soldier The coffin of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey before its final burial on 11th November 1920 © IWM The families and friends of the dead needed somewhere to grieve. After the war finished an anonymous body was dug up in France, and on 11th November 1920 he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London.

5 * The Unknown Soldier’s grave in Westminster Abbey © Creative Commons The Unknown Soldier It deliberately says on the gravestone that the soldier is unknown, so he can represent anyone and everyone. In the first week the soldier was in his grave 1.3 million people went to visit it.

6 * The Unknown Soldier statue in Paddington Station © Dom Agius The Unknown Soldier at Paddington Station

7 * What is the difference between a memorial with hundreds or thousands of names, and a statue of a single soldier? The Unknown Soldier statue in Paddington Station © Dom Agius The Unknown Soldier at Paddington Station

8 * The Unknown Soldier statue in Paddington Station © Dom Agius What questions would you ask to get to know him better?

9 * The Importance of Letters The Unknown Soldier statue in Paddington Station © Dom Agius At the height of the First World War an average of twelve and a half million letters were sent each week by family, friends and lovers to soldiers. Letters were directed through a vast, makeshift sorting office called the Home Depot, erected in London's Regent's Park.

10 * Letter written to a soldier in First World War © Creative Commons The Importance of Letters Working in what was at the time the largest wooden structure in the world, 2,500 mostly female staff (35,000 women were employed by the Post Office in the first two years of the war) handled over two billion letters and 114 million parcels in the course of the conflict.

11 * How many of you still write letters? What do letters achieve that s, texts and tweets can’t? Writing image © Creative Commons

12 * Writing your letter LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER is a project which invites you to help create a new kind of war memorial, one made only of words. There is a statue in Paddington station of a soldier reading a letter. Everyone in the UK is invited to write their own letter to the soldier, telling him what they think and feel as we approach the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. As they arrive the letters will be published online for everyone to see. In a few years, the letters will be added to the British Library web archive, where they will be kept for future generations to read. 1418NOW.org.uk/letter

13 * Are you writing as yourself or someone else? Are you writing as someone in 2014 or as someone in 1914? What do you really need to tell him? What does he really need to know? What’s important enough to put in a letter? How to start

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