Discover a new insight into The First World War at Redgrave Church

The front of this postcard is a photo of the wreck of the L.48 Zeppelin in a field in Theberton, Suf

The front of this postcard is a photo of the wreck of the L.48 Zeppelin in a field in Theberton, Suffolk 1917. Image from Julian Van Beveren. - Credit: Julian Van Beveren

In an age of social media, email and the internet, letters may be becoming a thing of the past but 100 years ago they were one of the only universal means of long distance communication.

Back of a postcard of a photo of the wreck of the L.48 Zeppelin in a field in Theberton, Suffolk 191

Back of a postcard of a photo of the wreck of the L.48 Zeppelin in a field in Theberton, Suffolk 1917. Image from Julian Van Beveren. - Credit: Julian Van Beveren

Letters can offer a fascinating insight into many periods of history, and the First World War is no different.

By researching and collecting letters sent during the conflict dubbed the so-called 'war to end all wars' Julian Van Beveren, a philatelist and expert on postal history, is able reveal just how much changed during the period.

'It is a really interesting period of history, in terms of the advancement of weaponry and technology, and it is right at the infancy of flight' said Mr Van Beveren.

In an event which will take place at St Mary's Church, in Bressingham, near Diss on Saturday, May 13, Mr Van Beveren will be reflecting on the First World War through correspondence sent during the conflict.

Front of a postcard depicting the sinking three HMS cruisers by a German U9 in 1914 – the postcard w

Front of a postcard depicting the sinking three HMS cruisers by a German U9 in 1914 the postcard was sent by a member if the Austrian Navy on 24.10.14. Image from Julian Van Beveren. - Credit: Julian Van Beveren


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The letters featured will primarily focus on the Allied Forces on the Western Front but there will also be examples from Turkey and the Battle of Gallipoli, Japan and Holland.

The majority of the letters were flown to and from the battle fields by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) or their French equivalent, in a huge effort of human endurance.

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In the early days of flight and difficult conditions the (RNAS) were the predecessors to the Royal Air force.

'Given the circumstances, its amazing what does survive, it was at a time when people where determined to build machines and pioneering flying'

Back of a postcard depicting the sinking three HMS cruisers by a German U9 in 1914 – the postcard wa

Back of a postcard depicting the sinking three HMS cruisers by a German U9 in 1914 the postcard was sent by a member if the Austrian Navy on 24.10.14. Image from Julian Van Beveren. - Credit: Julian Van Beveren

The postcards and letters from the period reveal just how quickly warfare was changing.

A postcard sent in 1914 by Hans Jake, who was most likely serving in the Austrian Navy, shows how one German submarine sunk three British cruisers just off the coast of Holland.

Other postcards give an insight into what the people at home would have seen of the war, as airships approached the Norfolk and Suffolk coast with the aim of bombing Great Yarmouth, Kings Lynn and Sheringham.

Or, in 1917 when one came down in a field in Thebeton, Suffolk.

The event Small Reflections on the Great War will take place in St Mary's Church in Redgrave.

For more information click here

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