Object of the Week | 14/05/2021

Charles Griffin Letter 1916

As a Stonyhurst pupil in 1904, Charles Griffin wrote letters home to his mother describing some of the day-to-day goings on of the College. This letter, however, was written from the Front Line of the Battle of the Somme on the 6 August 1916, just three weeks before Charles was killed in action.  

Charles affectionately informs his mother that he is “getting along alright” and hasn’t had so much as a cold in the year he has spent out there. He describes the French countryside as a such a “picture of piece” that it is hard to realise that horrors of war are close at hand; words wisely chosen by a son concerned for his mother’s wellbeing. 

He then begins a chatty inquiry into his family life, asking how his father, also an OS, is getting on as a medic at Crowborough. And finally, signing “your affectionate son, Charlie”.  

These letters make a brilliant resource for our Figures pupils at St. Mary’s Hall who are currently doing their own research projects into First World War soldiers from the Stonyhurst War Record. The letters bring an extraordinarily human element to the complicated picture of WW1 battlefield history.