Love letters from the front (Jean Kelly)

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The letters that are collected in this book tell a love story: that of Eric Appleby and Phyllis Ryan, during World War I. Eric Appleby was from Liverpool. An engineering student at the start of the War, he had been in his school Officer Training Corps, and in the Royal Engineers Territorials. He enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery in 1914 and was sent to Athlone for training. At a dance there he met Phyllis Kelly, who was brought up in Athlone, where her father was a solicitor. The collections consist of some 200 letters, field service postcards and telegrams. Eric's 1916 diary has been used to verify locations and events. The letters cover Eric's experiences from the time he left Athlone in March 1915 until he was killed in October 1916 at the tail-end of the Somme offensive. They show how much he depends on Phyllis's love and her letters to him to help him deal with the horrors of war. descriptions of his four leaves home, to Liverpool, Dublin and Athlone, because Phyllis asked him to write about their love days together. Although there is only one, unposted letter from Phyllis, the story that develops testifies to their mutual regard and throws light also on Phyllis's personality, because Eric comments at length on her views and news and, as requested, writes about their time together.