Peters' Western Front diary to make up to $2,500 at Bonhams


2015-06-26 13:52:44


Peters' Western Front diary to make up to $2,500 at Bonhams

Second lieutenant Charles Peters' Western Front diary will auction on October 1

A Western Front diary kept by second lieutenant Charles Peters is to feature in a first world war centenary sale at Bonhams London on October 1.

Western front diaryThe diary offers an insight into life on the Western Front

The lot is valued at 1,000-1,500 ($1,659-2,488).

Briton Peters was a railway worker who joined up at the outbreak of war in 1914.

The diary includes a detailed account of his training, his arrival on the front and the time he spent there.

In August 1915, he writes: "We journeyed up to the trenches to dig a communications trench. It was night & here we received our first experience of being under rifle & shell fire... received our first casualties".

He recounts his experiences of the Somme in 1916: "Terrible amount of water and mud here then, took rope with us to help men who sank in the mud. Several in mud helpless for two or three days."

In 1917, he returns home to his wife Ella - with whom he spends a "very enjoyable" month of leave.

Sadly, and predictably, the diary is sold alongside an official letter to Peters' mother. It reads: "I am so sorry to have to tell you that your son was killed in action on the night of the 18th [March 1918]. He was killed instantaneously from a wound in the head but was not greatly disfigured."

Another set of diaries, from staff sergeant WW Leslie, will also feature in the sale.

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