You’ll notice a new look today for our project, what we are not jokingly referring to as Peirs 2.0. The new look has been a long time in the making for #teampeirs. For months we have discussed and debated the future of the project and what we wanted our visitors to get from it. From the start, we have wanted the letters to tell their own story. Yet the more we researched Peirs and his family, the more we realized that there is a rich story here that goes beyond what he says in his letters.
If you scroll through a few weeks of his correspondence, you’ll notice that Peirs is a chatty officer with a good sense of humo(u)r and no small degree of plucky positivism about his ordeal. In this sense, what Peirs doesn’t say is often as important as what he does say. He withholds much, often out of either military necessity or a desire not to worry his family, and as such we don’t get a reliable picture of what is going on around him at the front. If you look at his correspondence this week, he says very little about what he is preparing to do – to fight in a battle on the Somme front – and instead writes about the family’s car and their mechanic in Carshalton. A case in point.
So with the new site, we hope to fill in some of the blanks with informal commentary (what we’re calling chatting), details on the family and their biographies, and adding more resources to connect Peirs with the war. Recently, #teampeirs took a research trip to France, Belgium, and to archives in England and we hope to take advantage of the knowledge gleaned from this trip to make the site even more informative. Over time we would like to tell the story not only of Peirs, but of his family, and to some degree, the men with whom he served. So stay tuned.