About Letters from Home

About Letters from Home

The Library holds one of the best collections of diaries and letters written by Australian men and women who served during the First World War. We know how much they longed for news of home. Terence Garling, a young officer from Sydney, wrote regularly to his parents and younger brother at home in Longueville:

Well Mother, I think I have come to about the end of my news, such as it is. I do hope some letters from home will come along shortly as the time would not seem half as long with some news of how you all are etc.
With much love to yourself, Father & Pat
I am Your loving Son

What would you tell your son, your brother, your sister, your father, your friend, your loved one, your lover?

Take a snapshot of your letter and share it via Twitter or Instagram using #lettersfromhomeWWI
Share your stories now and they will appear on our Letters from Home blog from 21 May.

Leading Australian authors will launch Letters from Home as part of Sydney Writers’ Festival here at the State Library on Wednesday 20 May. Book now.

View original letters from soldiers    View featured responses


Stuck for inspiration?

Award winning author Libby Gleeson will guide you through the process of creating responses to these moving original texts at the Letters from Home: Creative Response Workshop on Thursday 21 May as part of Sydney Writers’ Festival. The most compelling responses will be highlighted on our Letters from Home blog.


Letters from Home FAQs

  1. How do I find a letter to respond to?

    Go to the soldiers' letters page where you will find selected letters with transcripts.

  2. I want to know more about the diarist?

    Personal information, including where they enlisted, their job before the war and the campaigns they fought in, can be found in each diarist’s catalogue record.

  3. What should I write about?

    Diarists wanted news about their loved ones, home towns and even the family pet.

    Send your completed letters to us at the Library
    Email us: world.war.i@sl.nsw.gov.au

  4. What will you do with my Letters from Home?

    Your letter will be published on our Letters from Home blog and will be archived as part of the Library’s Centenary of World War I Commemorative Program.


Ragtime sketches on board our transport / Vasco, 1917
Ragtime sketches captures mateship on route to the Front

Eighty days on the transport ship Suevic afforded caricaturist Louis Vasco plenty of time to observe. These Ragtime Sketches On Board Our Tranport capture the chaps uniquely, and their life at sea on route to England. Read more about Louis Vasco in Stories.

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