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The People’s Friend Magazine
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Alfred’s Letter

A Short Story by author Sally Trueman Dicken.

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Alfred’s Letter

Illustration by Gerard Fay.

……It is six in the morning by the station clock.  The narrow platform is filled with men stamping their feet to keep out the cold. The mist has not yet cleared.  It interweaves with the smutty smoke from the engine to veil the row of shuffling men waiting to board a train. Now you see them, now you don’t.…..



This takes place during the First World War. Private Harry
Wilkinson is setting off to the battlefield trenches and as his train departs
he throws a package/letter out of the window hoping that it will find its
way back to his mother Ada. Billy, the butcher’s boy, finds it and delivers
it to her, reading aloud its contents to her, too.


We see Billy reading Harry’s letter aloud to his mother Ada.
He’s on the doorstep of her family home and it’s breakfast time, daylight
is through. Ada is listening closely to every word as the contents are so
important to her. We also see as a separate element a sepia photograph
of a young soldier in WW1 army uniform. He is holding a bicycle against
a backdrop of rows of white tents. See attached iStock ref. for uniform.


Harry – depicted here as a young soldier in a sepia photo.
Ada – his mother. In her late 30s, early 40s. Wearing a floral apron, hair
worn back from her face.
Billy – is about 16 years old. Short hair, wearing cap, jacket, trousers.

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