Sending a message in a bottle is something we have all heard about. Of course if you do poke a note into a bottle and cork it tightly, you don’t really expect it to be delivered in a timely fashion to the addressee do you?
Well, in wartime soldiers often threw messages in bottles off the transport ships as they were steaming away from home as a last communication to their family or country.
It is hard to imagine what those soldiers felt as they tossed their note into the briny deep. Did they expect that their loved ones would actually get the message intended for them, or was it just a last farewell when they really didn’t expect to return?
Surprisingly a fair few of those messages sent by bottle post did make it to dry land, there are a good many articles in the newspapers mentioning the discovery of them.
I suppose that once it became known that soldiers were sending messages this way beach goers would have been more inclined to look out for the washed up bottles.
I wonder if any bottles still containing the now-ruined messages are buried in sand dunes along the coast? I would be interested to know the amount of messages sent and the amount of messages that made it to shore.
I was also interested in the reference to the girl who had been caught masquerading as a soldier and sent home. It immediately bought to mind Monstrous Regiment, a book by the wonderful Terry Pratchett. No, don’t look it up on Wikipedia, just read it. (The Wikipedia entry is just one massive spoiler alert.)