One of a series of love letters between William Crawford and Hetty released by the National Archives

Centenary News in Brief: 7th - 13th June 2014

Posted on on 12 June 2014
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Centenary News in Brief this week includes: New records released by the National Archives; a free e-book of First World War letters; The Lingo of No Man’s Land exploring trench slang is republished; and a symposium on the Central Powers during the First World War in Austria.

National Archives

The National Archives in London has made available online the surviving records of service for over 12,000 servicemen from the Household Cavalry between 1799-1920.

Amongst them is a series of love letters written by William Crawford to a woman named Hetty. He was was killed in action in 1918. (WO 400/289/2867).

Free e-book

To officially launch the War Letters 1914–1918 series of e-books, the first volume will be free on Amazon from Monday 16th to Friday 20th June.
The book is based on the letters of 17-year-old Wilbert Spencer. With one year of school still to complete when the First World War began, Wilbert decided to join the British Army. Within four months he was leading 200 men to the front; within eight months he was dead.

The Lingo of No Man’s Land

The book The Lingo of No Man’s Land has been republished, with a new introduction by Professor Julie Colemanm from the University of Leicester’s School of English. It contains a detailed list of words, terms and colloquialisms from the trenches compiled by a Canadian soldier, Lorenzo Napoleon Smith, in 1918.

The book delves into the origins of words commonplace in English today - such as 'putting the wind up someone', or being 'over the top'. Other, now more obscure terms, such as 'mufti' and 'doggo' are also explored.


The Museum of Military History in Vienna, Austria, is holding a symposium on 'The Central Powers and the First World War'.

It will be held on the 16th-18th June 2014.

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News