Monday, February 4, 2008

Blogging From the Battlegrounds...of WWI

My previous post regarding soldiers blogging from the battlegrounds reminded me of an interesting blog that I ran across in January. I've been meaning to write a little blurb about it but managed to get a little sidetracked. Now it seems fitting to tie it in with my previous post.

William Henry Bonser Lamin is a blogger from England...well, sort of. He's actually a WWI soldier from England whose war letters are being brought to life through new media. His grandson, Bill Lamin, has taken William's letters from the battlegrounds and is posting them on a blog exactly 90 years after they were written.

Here is some coverage from ABC News.

It's interesting to see these letters being revived and to reflect on how far communication has come. While soldiers today have access to the Internet and blogs, soldiers back then relied on the old pen and paper method as family members anxiously awaited the next letter to arrive in the mail. Even though that eagerness is still there with those who have loved ones in the war today, the instantaneous communication has got to be somewhat of a relief.

Lamin is combining the old school letters with the new method of blogging but is still keeping the anticipation by only posting letters on the exact dates they were written. The last one was from January 29, 1918 which seems to bring some confusion as Lamin notes at the end of his grandfather's letter:
This is a strange letter that doesn't quite make sense. I've indicated the ends of pages so that the reader can make their own judgement as to any interpretation. I wonder whether there's a page missing or the rum bottle that was "left out" has something to with it. I hope the latter!
Lamin won't disclose anything about his grandfather's fate during the war leaving readers waiting and wondering. And he has received a good amount of hits for this blog. Lamin wrote:
A Milestone. Yesterday, 28th January, Harry's blog recorded its millionth page load! While not too exceptional in WWW terms, it is way beyond anything I imagined when I started publishing the letters.

It is a clever way to use a blog and the letters are a great reminder to how far we've come.

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