“This is everyone’s chance to be part of a new national conversation about remembering the war, and to have their voice heard…”
During the First World War over two billion letters and 114 million parcels were handled… it is a number we cannot aspire to match but one that reflects the significance of letters. LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER will create a snapshot of how twenty-first century Britain views the First World War, one hundred years on. It will be added to the British Library online archive at the end of the project, and kept in perpetuity for generations to come.
From Wednesday 21 May, and up until 4 August, everyone can contribute their letter, by visiting the website 1418NOW.org.uk/letter and entering it onto the site directly, or sending it by Royal Mail to LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER, PO Box 73102, London EC1P 1TY.
Artist Bob and Roberta Smith is to join more than 50 writers including Kamila Shamsie, A L Kennedy, Stephen Fry, Andrew Motion, and Malorie Blackman,who are writing their letter to an unknown soldier. He has created some artwork for the campaign.
The memorial will begin to take shape online from Saturday 28 June, curated by Neil Bartlett and Kate Pullinger. Letters will be published to the website as they arrive, and throughout the 37 days leading up to the declaration of war on 4 August. They will be searchable by theme, keyword and geographical origin. LETTER TO AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER will create a snapshot of how twenty-first century Britain views the First World War, one hundred years on. At the end of the project the entire collection will be archived online at The British Library and kept in perpetuity for generations to come.