Skip to content

Experiences of the Great War

British censorship

The British Army censored letters written home by its own troops, and the censors would submit reports on what they had learned from the letters they had read.

In these reports, the censors would tend to stress the positive, as in this extract from a report of 8 December 1916, not long after the horrific Battle of the Somme:

'Complaints of food are remarkably absent·On this account, the almost entire absence·of grousing as to food, is as unexpected as it is satisfactory. Expressions of satisfaction are frequent; those of complaint are conspicuously few.'

General Haig had obviously read this Censors' Report on British Army conditions in France, since he attached a note to it stating that he'd sent a copy to the King:

'Attached reports by Censors give a genuine idea of the state of feeling of the British Soldier. I sent a copy to Colonel Wigram for the King as I think the paper so interesting.'

Other experiences