Video: Deciphering shorthand from WW1 front

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A YORKSHIRE museum is hoping that a volunteer can help unlock the secrets in a pair of diaries kept during the First World War.

York Castle Museum is making a public appeal for volunteers to help translate the two diaries written in shorthand from the Palestine Campaign dated 1917 and 1918.

Katie Brown, Assistant Curator of History for York Museums Trust,  in the Caslte Museum stores in York

Katie Brown, Assistant Curator of History for York Museums Trust, in the Caslte Museum stores in York

They were donated by the East Riding Yeomanry Old Comrades Association and are believed to have been written by Wass Reader of the 1st East Riding Yeomanry C Squadron. There is very little information available on them and, as a result, the museum is asking people who have a good grasp of shorthand to offer their services.

The museum hopes to decipher some of the text to see what it tells about Reader’s life and the campaign he fought in.

Alison Bodley, curator of history, said: “This is such a fascinating project; we have in our possession two diaries from nearly 100 years ago, but we can’t understand what has been written in them. It would be fantastic if volunteers from the public could give us any insight as to the content of the diaries.”

They will be on display as part of the 1914: When the world changed forever exhibition, part of a £1.7m project at the museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, later this year. Anyone who can help translate should call Katie Brown on 01904 650363.

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