As we began discussing ways to commemorate World War One, I half-jokingly said “There’s so much in my grandfather’s WW1 archive I could do a display on that — actually, I will, and I’ll call it Sue’s Soldier “.
Grandad was George Henry Slater, a Derby lad, apprenticed to a jeweller, who despite having a fiancée he loved very much, decided to join up in October 1915. His friend had been killed already, but he must have felt it his duty to go.
The display contains photographs, original letters and documents, postcards both romantic and comic, badges, and a host of memorabilia. It goes from George’s baby photo (in a frock!) to his discharge in 1918 and his marriage in 1920, and is full of little stories: the letter with the picture he always carried, the Little Fruit Shop, his vivid reminiscences of the Front, the Blighty One, the Australian Rescue, and more.
My family feel there is enough of interest in this story of a young man who survived the Great War, to share with a wider audience. It’s in our vitrine wall at Derbyshire Record Office until April; do come and visit George, and look out for further blog posts on the material that we just couldn’t cram in.