Oliver Bernard Ellis – Part 4 (“A letter from Alexandria”)

This post continues from Part 3, and is part of a series for Explore Your Archive week.

Oliver Bernard Ellis wrote an essay for ‘The Observer’* called ‘A letter from Alexandria’. According to notes by his family, the essay was based on a letter sent by his uncle, Edward Dare Evans, to Edward’s daughter.

OBEllis Observer first page - LR Copy

First page of the essay

The essay is written from the perspective of a serviceman who is wounded and in hospital in Alexandria. It gives an account of the events leading up to the injury.

The first sentence reads: “Looking back over the happenings of the last week, I realise the futility of attempting to give you any idea of the horrors of modern warfare.”

The last sentence reads: “When this letter reaches you I shall have left this broken shell, and shall be free to fly back over land and water to the old home, and there I shall stay for a few short years until we can meet again on the same footing ‘Death is not the sunset but the sunrise of our lives’.”

OBEllis Observer last page - LR Copy

Last page of the essay

The series concludes tomorrow with his time in the R.N.A.S.

*The Observer was a collection of handwritten essays on a range of subjects by Bootham students and staff, that was regularly produced. This essay is taken from 2nd Series, Volume XXXII, p599.

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