Diary brings WW1 horror back to life

PAST UNCOVERED: Hassan Adam with the unknown soldier's diary

PAST UNCOVERED: Hassan Adam with the unknown soldier's diary

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A RARE diary, giving an unique insight into life in World War One's trenches, has been transcribed by a history student for public use.

An unknown soldier is responsible for the log, which gives an unflinching account of life on the Western Front from 1917 and 1918 and is held at Blackburn's Central Library.

The 40-page diary was kept by a soldier from the Royal Field Artillery's 330 Brigade A Battery - for which four Blackburn soldiers gave their lives on the field of battle.

For reasons which have become lost in time, the diary ends suddenly, just weeks before Armstice Day.

But for 17-year-old Hassan Adam, from Audley Range, it still represents a fascinating first-hand recollection of the horrors of war.

He was on a week-long placement at the library and town's museum when he was asked to transcribe the volume for a digital archive in a bid to make it more accessible to the public.


Have you any diaries from long ago, reflecting life in those times? Add your comments below.

Hassan said: "It was a great opportunity to be involved in such a project. Ever since high school, I have been fascinated by history.

"There are very few diaries of this kind around because the soldiers were not obliged to keep one.

"That is what makes it so rare and interesting.

"The soldier was very conscientious to have kept such a detailed diary but his name will always remain a mystery.

"We know he was one of the 120 soldiers in the unit but don't know which one."

Coun Michael Law-Riding, culture executive member, said: "The diary helps bring history to life and now it has been digitised, it can be studied or enjoyed by so many more people."

The digitised version of the diary is being kept at the library for public viewing.

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