Letter 29th January 1918 - Scans

Scans of the letter from 29th January.

I've had quite a few suggestions as to how they may be interpreted. I'll present the scans here so that you can make your own judgements. Two sheets of paper.


I am really beginning to wonder if there is a sheet missing as 1 & 2 seem to fit together as do 3 & 4, but 2 & 3? Who knows?

28 comments:

elhaf said...

Interestingly, 2&4 also seem to fit together. Maybe page 3 is intended as parenthetical information which was written after the letter was completed, with no regard for matching the finish of the sentence from 2 to 4.

Maryland, USA said...

I have a theory to share: Perhaps Harry wrote "...they left the rum bottle out which they never forget to take with them" Could he have written the words "with them" on a fresh sheet of paper, been interrupted, then continued on the other side of the sheet "Their is five or six parts..." ? Reading from page 3 to page 4 omitting "with them" seems to be logical. "A fighting patrol mostly has a lewis gun and three or four of the team. Our batt has had no luck yet.."

I am facinated by Harry's letters! Many thanks.

Nick said...

I suppose there is a missing "." at the end of Page 2. Which would just suggest that they never forget to take the bottle of rum except for that time(?).

Silarnon said...

This to me seems to be a single letter. Harry refers to a newspaper article. If you can find that article I suspect it would fill in the missing information.

I think he is talking about a long march which crosses a river multiple times (presumable the river bends a lot). Rum bottle may be a euphemism for something.

Seek out the newspaper article!

MRF said...

Bravo! I was put onto your blog by a friend the daughter of Tom Thourston, who has created a blog following your model based upon a family member Theo, adoughboy.blogspot.com. It has been an eye breaker to look at the letters in the original, but a great idea. You are doing important work.

I am interested in French blogs on WW1. Has anyone mentioned any or can you help me find them? I speak French.

Paul said...

I would tend to agree, it would appear that there is a sheet missing between 2 & 3.

Just as an aside, i have joined the tale late as I only became aware of it after the CBC aired the story.

Am enjoying it thoroughly

Anonymous said...

page 2 and 4 seems to be a perfect match to me and I feel as though 3 isnt supposted to be there at all, Also the last 2 pages are folded the same so i think that #3 might be a Post script with a missing page?

Jady Perree said...

Just sent in a comment as Annonymous, about page 3, But I Just added Blogger Identity so I wanted to send you a message so you'd know me if you wanted to comment back.

Anonymous said...

wow

Anonymous said...

This is a long shot, but if he was writing from a pad, the indentation from p3 will possibly show on p5. As will p4, if he removed the sheet and used the pad to rest on.

It won't show all the words but may indicate if there is a missing p3 & 4.

Julie said...

Actually, I am beginning to think that you have a sheet too many. Could the third page be part of a different letter? Then the transition from P2 to P4 reads better " ... they left the rum bottle out which they never forget to take with them ...". I think I agree with the other commenter who thinks Harry meant "accept" instead of "except". It would make sense, when speaking of an older person, "that we can accept dad being bad". Just noticed the creases on P3 - the diagonal crease from P2 to P3 does not continue and the centre crease from P3 to P4 does not align. Curioser and curioser ...

Anonymous said...

Mi papá lucho en el frente ruso durante la segunda guerra mundial.

Cuando le pedia detalles de sus vivencias, también ofrecia comentarios casi triviales, a lo que a mi, a la distancia de espacio y tiempo, me parecían momentos monumentales.

Gente común en sucesos extraordinarios reaccionan así, con el heroismo de lo cotidiano.

Por eso es que salimos todos los días a nuestros quehaceres, aún cuando hay tantas situaciones e individuos dispuestos a amargarnos la existencia.

Gabriel said...

genial!

es una excelente idea! FELICITACIONES

Withyou said...

it's an original way to write.. sorry re write...


Kisses


pd: sorry for my english, i'm argentinian.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that sheets 2 and 3 seem disjointed. A discussion from the rum bottle does not flow well into a discussion on crossing the river.

Argentinian lady said...

You must see this

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2008/01/31/conexiones/t-01596984.htm

Greetings from Argentina!

Federico Schulze said...

Considered: I have leido the news of your blog and it seems me facinante, my ingles is very bad and I cannot read blog very well... that seems to you a translation to the Castilian? from already thank you very much Federico Schulze datasitesweb@hotmail.com

Patagonia said...

I think page 3 is a separate note with an update that he added to his letter.

Anonymous said...

As a history student I really appreciate this touching letters because they help one to really submerge into what was happening at the time.
It is impressive that one of the most important newspapers of Argentina wrote an article and had a link to this website.
great job!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for sharing such an invaluable historical document. It is extremely interesting.
Business opportunity:
You should include a Rum producer in your banners. Maybe I am not the only one that decided to drink a bottle while reading :)
Best regards from Toronto.

Steven

Julie said...

But then again, if this is only two sheets of paper, then P1 and P2 are back and front and P3 and P4 are back and front. So my original theory does not hold.

Chus said...

Thanks for sharing

dickdiver said...

Hallo, I am from the Czech republic. I found randomely your website. It is very interesting, I enjoyed it very much, because my grand - grandfather fought in the First world war too. He used to talk about it very much. During 1918 he served in Italy, opposite of your hero. I am looking forward next letter. Thank you - and excuse my bad English - at school I was studying Russian only :-).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting,while reading I was reminded of the stories my father told of his time during ww2 they were similer stories.

Paul Harding, Chicago, USA said...

Harry just left off a period at the end of the last on the second page. Or he lost his train of thought between completing the second page and starting to write on a fresh sheet of paper, the third page. The third and fourth pages make sense to me. I don't understand what the fuss is all about. It is not like he has all the time in the world to proof these letters or use a spelling/grammer checker in a computer program.

May God help Harry survive the horrible war.

Yelsmlaugh said...

As Nick said on Jan 30, the only thing that is missing is a period (full stop ex America). The forgotten bottle is a minimalist description of the hectic six crossing withdrawal from the front lines. One learns this kind of code when faced with censorship. The letter reads very smoothly as is and, since it is the only copy we have, that is all to the good.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know in wich front in Italy the soldier William Henry Bonser Lamin fought.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a school work about these letters, they're really interesting :) I hope you good luck with the blog from Barcelona!