Harry, William Henry Bonser Lamin was born in August 1887 near the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire border. His family were originally well-to-do farmers but, in 1875 sold up the farm in Annesley, Nottinghamshire. I have a poster advertising the farm sale. The family story is that drink was involved in the decline of Henry's farm. Henry then became a Farm Labourer, later a "Chemical labourer". Of course, this all happened well before Harry was born. Harry was quite a bit younger than his brothers and sisters. A "Tacker", as they say in Cornwall.
In the 1901 census, Harry, aged 13, is found to be staying with his older brother John (Jack) in Oxford. Jack was then a school master. I have no way of knowing whether this was a holiday or a longer stay. I suspect it was a lengthy stay as the Oxford people and places are mentioned in his letters. Maybe it helped the family finances.
Later Harry worked in one of the local lace factories. His occupation on his marrriage certificate is lacemaker but it is believed that he was a maintenance fitter for the lace machines. In Ilkeston, where he then lived, the most common occupations were coal miner or work at the local Stanton Iron Works. The Lace factory would be a relatively "soft" option.
In February 1917 he would have probably been conscripted into the army, rather than volunteering. He was well under the upper age limit of 41 for conscription.
Posted by Pte Harry Lamin at 4:41 p.m.