Last post … Scots soldier takes to Twitter more than a century after he died in WW1

By Ian Marland at

The frontline letters of a WW1 soldier have been turned into a series of poignant and powerful social media posts.

Private David Tindal, from Glasgow, fought in France with the Highland Light Infantry.

A film project has now imagined how his letters home would have read if 21st century technology like smartphones and Twitter had been around then.

Soldier David Tindal and Twitter

Screenshots: How David’s letters would have looked as social media posts

TV producer Mark Gorton is behind tWWItter, which aims to educate schoolchildren about the war.

Mr Gorton said: “David Tindal was the great uncle of a friend of mine called Alasdair Coates.

“He lent me letters and cards David wrote – the letters normally from behind the lines, the cards while in the trenches.

“They are beautifully written and chart David’s journey from excitement to despair.

“Stripping them down to tweet length messages loses none of the originals’ power and brings his century old story vividly to life here in the modern world.”

David Tindal and Twitter

Footage: Hundreds of thousands of men were killed in the fighting

The film condenses a period of time that begins with his march to the front line in late 1915 and ends just before the Somme offensive of July 1916.

He died of shrapnel wounds on June 30, 1916. The former Glasgow Academy pupil was just 26 years old.

In one Tweet adapted from a letter to his father in Burnside, Glasgow, David says: “We have received our marching orders and I am now setting off on the greatest adventure of my life.”

Another reads: “Do not worry as I believe fate will be good to me, but should the cards go against me it is my desire that I should meet death painlessly.”

Later the horrors of war are apparent: “Men are killed, maimed and wounded all along the long line all day and all night with unfailing regularity.”

David Tindal and Twitter

Handwritten: A facsimile of a letter David Tindal wrote to his father in Glasgow

His last tweet reads: “Far better to die early than grow up to poor health, worldly failure, domestic infelicity or many another fate. In touch again when possible.”

The poignant messages are mixed with real footage from the Front and an original music score.

The film was made in 2014, but has been recently updated to mark the centenary of the Great War’s end.

‘Remarkable but true’

Alasdair Coates, from Heswall in Wirral, said: “It’s remarkable but true that even after more than a hundred years this short film has awakened new respect for our family member.

“So many people sacrificed so much and asked for so little in return.

“It’s been really heartwarming to see David be recognised and, as a former teacher and head, I hope tWWItter is screened in classrooms up and down the country. Lest we forget.”

The film is online and accompanied by a downloadable teaching resource of lesson plans and worksheets.

David Tindal and Twitter

Adventure: David Tindal was just 26 years old when he died shortly before the Somme offensive


Watch: Mark’s film is six minutes long and mixes poignant prose with film footage and music

tWWItter will be screened in FACT Liverpool’s ground floor 50 seat cinema called The Box all day Wednesday (November 7).