Letters from Mark Sykes to his wife Edith

Scope and Content

The last bundle of letters from Mark Sykes to his wife, date from 1912 to 1918. They are useful for gaining perspectives on different aspects of the First World War. He trained the terriers in Newcastle at the start of the war, before travelling to Constantinople and many other places in 1915 to gather information. The letters record his opinions on the coming of the war, mobilisation, possible invasion, German chances of victory and public interference. He mentions Picot (the co-creator of the Sykes-Picot agreement regarding the division of Turkey after the War), as well as recording war on the domestic front, when he witnessed an air raid attack and a Zeppelin crash. In 1918, he wrote to Edith from Italy about the Armistice and the Italian public reaction to peace. There are also references to Edith's hospital in France, which she ran with her sister as an emergency hospital near the front line. These letters also give an impression of Mark Sykes as a father, as they include two letters addressed to his children.

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