Carolyn Porter | World War II
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Carolyn Porter, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel's Letters, Handwritten Letters, World War II, P22 Marcel, Typography, Love Story, Reunion, Daimler, Berlin, Marienfelde, STO, Forced Labor, Service du Travail Obligatoire, WWII
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Up Here… A 10th Mountain Soldier’s Letters Home 1943–1945

Earlier this year I received an email from a man named David Hoople, who was writing from his home in Maine. After reading Marcel’s Letters he was so struck by similarities in our stories that he felt compelled to reach out. “The parallels to my project were inspiring,” he wrote. David went on to explain he had been transcribing the letters his father, Ted, mailed home while serving in the 10th Mountain Division during WWII. Similar to my search for information on Marcel, David’s journey to understand his father’s experience involved carefully piecing together information from handwritten letters, a trip abroad, and a remarkable encounter at the top of Mt. Croce—one of those goosebump-inducing moments that just might make you believe in divine meddling.READ MORE

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June 2, 1944: “I must be strong and have patience and hope that the beautiful days will arrive soon”

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roumieu
Bar sur Loup, close to Grasse, Maritime Alps, France

Ludwigshofen, June 2, 1944

 

My very dear parents,

I’m sending you these few words to share some of my news. First of all, I can tell you that we are all in good health and I hope that this letters will find you the same, my dear parents, as well as the Fécaud and Giordamanga families. READ MORE

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January 21, 1944: “…we talked a bit about our country back home. That made him happy…”

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roumieu
Bar sur Loup, close to Grasse, Maritime Alps, France

Ludwigshofen, January 21, 1944

My very dear parents,

I have just received several letters dated December 20, 23, 25 and January 1 that pleased me very much, for they brought me your good news and I can see that your health is good, and I can tell you that it’s the same for all of us.READ MORE

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September 23, 1942: “…it is absolutely necessary for me to learn [German]…”

Handwritten WWII letter, written in French in black ink, covered with four chemical censor marks.

Envelope

Miss Elza Delbovier
106 avenue Nouvelle
Brussels 4 [unclear]
Belgium


Full-page Letter

My dear Els,

You will undoubtedly receive this letter before the one that I mailed on Monday the 21st [unclear]. I apologize thousands of times for such a delay in writing to you. I would really not want you to be upset about this.READ MORE

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May 14/15, 1942: “…my greatest ambition is to get home to you…”

10-page handwritten letter written by love-lorn British soldier stationed in Sudan, May 1942

Letter 52

Wednesday, 13th May, 1942
1887416 Sgt. Leigh AA, RE
Transportation
Headquarters
Sudan

My Darling Sweetheart,

How long it is since I last wrote you. I don’t know but it is longer than it should have been. I am extremely sorry to keep you of all people waiting but I am sure you must know and realise that I have an excellent reason, so please forgive me darling. I must confess that I have been frightfully busy and working hard in the intense heat produces a tiredness which hinders all attempts to write but the smallest of letters. Since my precious you are worth far more to me than a few scrappy lines I just wait my opportunity. READ MORE

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December 23, 1943: “Hoping…the bad moments that we are all going through will soon be ended.”

Front and back of yellowed postcard written December 23, 1943

Lyon, December 23, 1943

My little Etta,

I hope that this card will give you the most sincere wishes that I am sending, hoping that the new year will be good for you, and that both of you will enjoy good health and that the bad moments that we are all going through will soon be ended.READ MORE

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December 21, 1943: “tender kisses that I form very far from you but are no less sincere.”

Front and back side of handwritten postcard from WWII

December 21, 1943

My beloved little darling,

I was happy this evening to read your letter of December 6, learning that you received your money order and yes, my darling, so far I have had a good amount on pay day but believe me, your words of thanks touched me also this evening. READ MORE

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December 17, 1943: “Seven more days of shopping until Xmas”

Four page handwritten letter, written December 17, 1943

Friday, December 17, 1943

Dear Maggie, 

There is still very little to write about and we’re all getting a little bit tired of this riding but guess we’ll make out all right. I won’t be able to mail this for some time yet but am writing anyway. Will send you a number of letters in one envelope as I did the last letter I sent. I’m going to try to send a wire soon so stand by. READ MORE

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A Return to Paris and Promises Kept

W A R N I N G :  B O O K  S P O I L E R S  A H E A D

Last year at the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) conference in Montreal (watch my talk here), I learned ATypI’s 2018 conference would be held in Antwerp, Belgium. After realizing Antwerp was an easy two-hour train ride from Paris, I realized I had found the perfect excuse to return to the City of Lights.

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