Sound Files

Listen to oral histories from The Postal Museum and Mail Rail exhibitions.

K6 Telephone Kiosk

  • 001. Letter from German Soldier to Mrs Home Peel

    Home Peel joined the Post Office in 1906. At the outbreak of war, in 1914, he joined the Post Office’s own battalion, the Post Office Rifles. Having survived many battles, Peel was killed in action near Longueval on 24 March 1918 during the retreat from Cambrai. A German soldier found his body and was moved to write this letter.

  • 002. Letter from William Cox to family

    William Cox was a Post Office worker. During the First World War he posted an Oxo tin to his brother and sister containing a button from the tunic of a fellow worker who had died and also a piece of shrapnel. This is the letter he wrote to explain what these ‘mementoes’ meant to him.

  • 003. Extracts from Thomas May’s diary

    Thomas William Ernest May joined the Post Office in 1910 as an Assistant Postman. In 1915, at the age of 20 he joined the Post Office Rifles and went to war. Like so many others Thomas was an ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary situation. These are extracts from the diary he kept whilst at the front, describing his experiences of the war.

  • 004. Battlefield Will, Leonard Eldridge

    Private Leonard Eldridge was a member of the Post Office Rifles. Like many soldiers in the First World War he was encouraged to write a battlefield will, in case the worst should happen. This is what he wrote.

  • 005. The Letter by Wilfred Owen

    Wilfred Owen is one of the most famous poets of the First World War. Here we hear his poem ‘The Letter’. In it a soldier writes a letter to his wife back home but whilst writing it he is fatally shot. The poem switches between the contents of the letter and the events unfolding around him.

  • 006. ‘It came by ship’ by Aldis Bajirak

    Aldis took part in Communicating Conflict, a First World War Centenary project with Haverstock School in 2014. Pupils took inspiration from the wartime stories and objects in The Postal Museum collections to write their own letters from the Front Line. His poem captures the anticipation of waiting for a letter from home.

  • 007. Roger Osborn

    During the Second World War Roger Osborn had to deliver many fatality telegrams, bringing news of death to loved ones back home. Here he recalls his own, and a friend’s experience, and speaks about the devastating effect it could have on families.

  • 008. Frank Hunter

    Frank Hunter left school at 14 to start his first job as a Boy Messenger at North West District Office in London. During the Second World War Frank and colleagues sheltered from bombing in the Post Office Underground Railway at Mount Pleasant while working their night shifts.

  • 009. Garvin Kerr

    Garvin grew up in the Creggan area of Derry in a Catholic family of six children. Garvin worked for Royal Mail at the height of ‘The Troubles’. Here he remembers the frightening day when he was held up in his van and robbed at gunpoint.

K8 Telephone Kiosk

Mail Rail Gallery