John Moore was born in the small village of Walton in Leicestershire in December 1923, he died in Leicester in August 2008 aged 84.
In 1942, at the age of 17 he joined the British Army. On clearing his house after his death I found six bundles of letters, never mentioned and half hidden in the roof of his bungalow. From 1942 – 1947 he had written letters home to his family and they had kept them all, 508 of them.
The letters tell a tale of a critical time in history from the perspective of a British soldier. I have transcribed the letters, and published each here on its 70th anniversary. The first letter was written hastily when he arrived at Catterick for training on 3rd September 1942, the final letter from Haifa was dated 23rd February 1947.
Diaries and Journals
As I transcribed the letters and reached June 1944 when John crossed the English Channel soon after D-Day I found two journals he kept on scraps of paper and a diary for 1945. Letters were subject to censorship and revealed little of where he was or what he was doing, but these fill in some of the details.