15. Christmas Telegram

This simple Christmas telegram was among thousands being sent home by soldiers stationed overseas during the Second World War.

Telegrams were charged by the word – so messages tended to be short. Even so, receiving a message like this was a comfort and a reminder that your loved one was alive and thinking of you.

LETTER RECEIVED
MANY THANKS QUITE WELL
HOPE YOU ARE
LETTER FOLLOWING
MERRY XMAS TO ALL

However, the telegram wasn’t always a welcome sight. Particularly in the United States where the sight of a Western Union courier became associated with bad news. The company was used by the US War Department to notify families of the death of a loved one.

This telegram was sent by Fred Taylor to his future wife. Fred was captured in North Africa and spent time as a prisoner of war, but eventually managed to return home when the war in Europe ended.

We’ll be exploring many personal stories of the Second World War in our brand new Spitfire Gallery, due to open in the summer of 2021.