In order to make informed comment on the letters, Margaret has carried out research into various aspects. As a passionate family historian, she has looked into the family backgrounds of Jim and Hugh. She has learned about naval training and wartime action at sea. Using items from The National Archives she tracks Hugh’s submarines throughout the period of his letters.

Using the narrative

This is the main section of the site. It provides a commentary on the letters and also takes you through Margaret’s research journey. You will firstly discover how Margaret came to write the story and how Hugh came to be writing to Jim. Using genealogical resources, Margaret pieces together Hugh’s background and what led him into the navy. Her research at The National Archives and at naval establishments provides substance to the story. By following clues left in diaries and other artefacts, Margaret is able to solve a number of mysteries until the full story of this wartime friendship emerges. You will read the letters paragraph by paragraph alongside the commentary which puts Hugh’s words into context. It is important to read the numbered sections in order in order to follow the development of the relationship and the progress of the war. 

The text of Hugh’s letters is shown in bold type whilst Jim’s writing is in bold italic.