News from the front

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Mail during the First World War was censored so as to keep any operational details secret. At the Front, communication was reduced to filling in a form letter like the one above sent by Harry Jeffery to his mother.

There were ways of getting around the censor. Harry noted in one letter to his family that ‘at one port we called at soldiers threw letters to the people on the wharf to post. I am going to do the same next time.’ While training in Britain, he wrote a long letter to his family about the journey from Sydney to Portsmouth and posted it while on leave away from the base, to avoid the censor.

The postcard, above, was filled in using an indelible pencil which had a purple dye mixed in with the graphite. Indelible pencils were popular as it meant that a soldier did not need to carry a pen and ink. As the name suggests the writing could not be rubbed out (unless a censor used his indelible pencil to cross out the writing).

Posted on March 29, 2015, in Five Dock, More than just a name and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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