It is the soldier's handwriting that draws the reader in - smooth, steady, well-written cursive rarely seen in today's age of social media and text messaging. But the letter is nearly 100 years old. The author: A rank-and-file British service member, who managed enough composure to pen a neat, often-thoughtful letter and will to loved ones - just before heading to the front lines of World War I.

"It is very frightful to see great big men fainting in the ranks, it makes one lose heart when he sees this," soldier Joseph Ditchburn said in a letter to his mother, dated August 6, 1914.

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