Artillery Lieutenant

Alfred Forbes Johnson MC is a Lieutenant in the artillery who keeps himself sane in the war with a mixture of humour, letter writing and prodigious reading while on duty at the often hazy observation point - OB.

An academic librarian, he had worked at the British Museum where he returned after the war and became deputy keeper of books.

He writes to his wife Essie in London nearly every day and his letters are archived in the British Library. He writes with a dry humour, a touch of irony and a keen eye for detail.

'This is a weird state of affairs here. The Hun is shelling something about a quarter of a mile on the left, and on the right there is a band playing.' (16/08/1918)

Read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_F._Johnson https://blogs.bl.uk/untoldlives/2017/11/testimony-from-the-trenches-personal-journeys-of-ww1.html

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Voices from 1918 has been developed by artists Sharon Hayden and Alastair Nisbet in partnership with Wimborne Community Theatre, Dorset History Centre and the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to all who have helped us with this project: Maria Gayton and staff at Dorset History Centre where we found Lady Mary Monkswell’s diaries; Joan Cocozza, ward of nursing auxiliary Olive Harcourt; Portland Museum where we found James Sansom’s diaries; the British Library and Wellcome Libraries; Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne and Gill Horitz from Wimborne Community Theatre.

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