Letter to Jack, 4th November 1918


Nov 4th 19/18

32507/9th Y & Lancs
C Coy
12 Platoon
Dear Jack

Just a few lines to hoping you are keeping fit. I am alright at present, but we have had some trying times as you must have seen by the papers what a big success we have had in Italy. Our div is 23rd there are three brigades in it two went and crossed the Piave and two days after we had to releive them and take up a two Brigades front they had advance about 10 kilos we had to take a place called Sacile which was about 30 kilos farther on. We were not long before we found the Austrians first day it was all open fighting a great deal of machine gun fire but not much shelling as he was retiring very quick it was a rum job going through maize fields and searching old houses. of course we could not do anything at night only put sentries out and wait till morning. next day we went to with about four kilos of Sacile without seeing anything and day after we had to take the town of course he had blown the bridge up but we took it before night. We had four wounded in our platoon bullet wounds. The Austrians then retired to the Taglemento (river). I hope the war is finished by the time you get this letter. My Pal is safe. Kitchens address. 5 Beta Villa, Mayfield Street. He is alright.
Love to you Both
Harry

In ALL of Harry's letters, this is the first time that he has mentioned any of his comrades by name. I have always found that quite astonishing.

I would guess that this letter was written in the morning of 4th November. The War Diary entry for today (4th November) is worth a look.

Comments: If you've been following Harry's blog, may I ask that, at this very significant point, you make a short comment - just to register your interest. Thank you. BL

369 comments:

1 – 200 of 369   Newer›   Newest»
waylon said...

Nov. 4, 1918? Interesting in that 7 days from that point, the cease fire went into effect (Nov. 11, 1918). Are we reaching a conclusion to Harry's experiences?

Anonymous said...

A fascinating account which has made it all very real - exciting and sad - I've been hooked!
Thank you

Anonymous said...

I have followed this blog with great interest. Hope the best for Harry.

Thomas from Denmark

Anonymous said...

After the 'over the top' feel of the postcard a few days back, I wondered, but this is fantastic news.

Parcival said...

Well, I already assumed that Harry is going to survive this war when he was moved to Italy, but after these events I take it almost for granted - though one can never be completely sure.

Claymore said...

I've been following from a syndicated feed on LiveJournal.

4 November - he was fighting with Austrians, but the ceasefire with Austria was on the same day.

G. Tingey said...

Remember what I posted to the Battalion War Diary yesterday.
There is still a lot of non-fighting work to do, before Harry and the lads can come home.
Süd-Tirol and Niederösterreich will have to be occupied.

Even then, I remember that my oldest uncle came through from July 1916 (Somme) to the end, without a scratch, but got a broken leg in a French train-crash on the way home.
Mind you, his next brother, my uncle Frank, was even more remarkable ...
Cambrai 1917, emigrated to Aussie in '22, re-volunteered in '39, at Singapore in '41, captured Sumatra '42, survived the dreade railway .....

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog, I follow it via Googles Reader. Greetings from France.

Givinya De Elba said...

I've been following with interest, trying to imagine receiving the letters in my mailbox 90 years ago.

Kate from Australia (the lady with the Killing A Fly with a Ukulele blog.)

Kellyansapansa said...

The suspense is killing me!

Philippa Goodall said...

I'm currently in my first year at uni and was told to folow the blog as part of my a level english lit war lit module. whereas most of my classmates ignored this, i was hooked and have checked it daily since. although it's in the past, and already happened, i'm so nervous that harry still won't make it...
good luck, harry!

Philippa

Anonymous said...

Been following this blog for quite some time now. Sometimes I shiver thinking about the experiences that are likely to stand behind Harry's rather quiet and "normal" comments.
I got a collection of old german newspapers from my great-grandmother. It's interesting to see the propaganda from the other side...

Anonymous said...

Been following the blog for quite some time now, sometimes shivering as I thought of the experiences Harry's lines most likely hide. I got a collection of german newspapers from my great-grandmother. Interesting to see the propaganda from the other side...

Anonymous said...

Been following the blog for quite some time now, sometimes shivering as I thought of the experiences Harry's lines most likely hide. I got a collection of german newspapers from my great-grandmother. Interesting to see the propaganda from the other side...

Ian said...

Thank God he made it :o)

Have learnt something new today that the Austrian Armistice was so far in front of the German one. I was all geared up for willing Harry through for another 8 days!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the mention of a Pal is so astonishing. Self preservation in that mad house must have been the way to survive mentally, only at the end can he acknowledge a friend. Harry was certainly tough to maintain this, I have nothing but admiration for him.

kathz said...

I've been following this blog for quite a while now - congratulations on the work that has gone into it.

Janell said...

I have followed Harry and the battalion from here in Boise, Idaho, USA for months, as they fought their war in France and Italy. Each day, I would enter their location into Google Earth and try to imagine what it was like to be there, endlessly walking, fighting and resting, wondering when it would all end. The hardships and dangers he and his fellow soldiers experienced are unimaginable today. Comraderie is probably what got them through. I anxiously await the Harry Stamps and I will be one of the first to order the book, when it becomes available. Today, I am thinking good thoughts about Harry and imagining that he is really hopeful for the first time in two years. But, he is still a long way from home, with much more to do. Godspeed, Harry........

Anonymous said...

As a student of history I found this blog and Harry's account of the Great War very interesting. His lively remarks give a great impression of how it felt being a soldier in these times. In addition, the idea to publish his letters the same day he wrote them 90 years ago put me as a reader into the same position as his relatives and gave me a good feeling for their situation. Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

Ths is a great blog. I'm following all of Harry's steps.

Saint Lemur said...

I'm still nervous. The Great War has only another week to run -- but then there was the intervention in the Russian Civil War.

jacksonj04 said...

An excellent blog I've been following since day one - fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog for quite some time now and find it really fascinating to "experience" it a bit from a soldiers point of view.
Being from Flanders myself - not so far from where the battles took place - I visited a lot of the graveyards and other remnants of the war here. In a way this helped me to kind of picture Harry's experiences when he was "over here".
I felt a bit relieved when he was leaving Flanders for Italy and it is good to see he made it this far alright.

November the 11th is closing in ...
Stay low for another week Harry!

Nancy said...

I've been following Harry's journey for a long time now. I'm hoping he'll survive to come home and be embraced by his family...

Anonymous said...

Just started reading this recently but am finding it very interesting. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have been following this since the beginning. What a wonderful way of showing the true history of the horrors of war. All too often the common fighting man is overlooked. This has been a wonderful insight in to Harry's life, and I await the end with baited breath. I, for one, will be buying the book when it comes out. Many thanks for sharing this with as all.

Anonymous said...

Hope you get home soon Harry. I have been with you all the way, and have shed many tears on your behalf.

Pat Tobin said...

Yes I found it 'unusual' that Harry mentioned his friend. Perhaps Kitchen was wounded and was unable to write. I would have thought that he would have given Jack his address before now, when he was home on leave a short time ago, so that in the event of very bad news Kitchens family would have had a personal caller with some report. Is it possible that Harry, being able to read and write might have been a letter writer for others? What was literacy like among soldiers of that time?

Louise said...

I've been following via the feed onto LiveJournal.

Sara said...

I've been following this blog for quite a long time now, never commented before but since you requested :-)

Knut (Hamburg, Germany) said...

I've been following this blog for almost a year now. I appreciate your effort to let us live through the tension and fears of those waiting at home for their loved ones.
Rest assured: It works!
Now please, bring him home safely ...

Klaus said...

thanks for all the work so far - great to have long term blogs to follow!

CannibalRabbit said...

I have been following along since close to the beginning. Here I am now keeping my fingers crossed for Harry for the next week, and the 'flu epidemic that follows.

Brian S said...

I've been following Harry for many months. This blog is quite unique. Well done, and keep it up!

Daniel Polónia said...

Following from Ovar, Portugal (one of the "sad participants" in this cruel war)
Best Regards,
Daniel

Rocco said...

The starving Austrian Army runs back living ruins. Harry's hope is almost realized. In the meantime, at the same date, still on the Asiago Plateau, you can find this, just to tell us how our destiny may be cruel:

Private Sidney William Baylis + 3 nov. 1918 - age 21
GLOUCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
“we miss him most
who loved him best
always in our thoughts
mother

(My joy for Harry is great anyway!!)

Anonymous said...

I think I can understand the battalion's War Diary entry, with that simple quiet factual statement of the cease-fire on the Austrian front: words really can't describe the feeling. Satisfaction? Joy? Sorrow for lost comrades? Exhaustion, exhilaration, longing for home? All this and much more.
Remember too that Harry won't be home just yet: occupation of captured areas and the long talks about war reparations are ahead.

Eadwacer said...

Outstanding job. Would make a good book. Too bad it's ending -- well, OK, happy there's no more death and destruction, but you know what I mean. Someone should offer walking tours.

ToJe said...

I have been reading this blog with great interest. Having read "All Quiet on the Western Front", Jack's letters (and the War Diary) have been very helpful in showing the "other side". Keep on doing this great work!

TheFabulousJourney said...

This was an amazing blog. Thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

I have been following Harry's story for a year now I love it It makes the war so much more alive then the history books. I am glad I can read about it wouldn't like to live through it. It was a very brave generation both the soldiers and the ones left at home

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, one mans experiences among millions puts things into perspective in a unique way.

Kristian from Norway

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Harry's blog from the beginning. I am reduced to tears to hear that he is safe today.

My own grandfather fought in France in WW1. His 1 year old son died, and was buried, while he was away. He also had two older daughters. There was never a word of condemnation for this from either he or my grandmother.

He went on to volunteer for the home guard during WW2, and suppported my mother through her service in the ATS.

May God bless all who have or will fight for this country. We will remember them!!

Anonymous said...

My interest in WWI started when I lived in Verdun, France as a teenager.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for over a year now with great interest. Thank you very much for sharing this.

Andreas from Germany

Anonymous said...

I have been following Harry's experiences for months, I hope he makes it home safe.

Greetings from Siebe, The Netherlands.

Lori said...

Thank you for posting all of Harry's letters. I've been in great suspense regarding Harry's fate. My fiance asks me every now and then "if my WWI soldier is still alive."

Lori
Baltimore, MD

Claire Foss said...

I've been reading Harry's letters via RSS - an amazing account, absolutely brilliant.

Jonathan Lee said...

Thank goodness Harry made it. I had checked on the commonwealth war graves web site and couldn't find Harry but it didn't stop me from worrying particularly as I knew he was involved in fighting up until the Austrian armistice.

Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog from Charlotte, NC USA, it's brilliant.

Yke Timmerman said...

Thank you for letting us follow Harry's experiences during the Great War. I have been following it ever since a documentary was shown on TV about it here in Canada.
Even though the war is almost at the end, I would like to continue to hear about Harry and his family.

Anonymous said...

I've followed this blog from Qc, Canada. Thank you for your hard work.

Anonymous said...

I live in Bulwell Nottingham very close to Awsworth, so I know where he is coming from, My family remained miners and farmers in the 2nd wrld war, not sure about the first, check this blog daily and cant understand why my workmates dont seem interested, it has awoken something in me and I have also read that birdsong book you mentioned earlier. Come on Harry

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog since 2007 and I am hooked. My dad was a soldier (English 8th army) in WWII, and while I came along many years after he came home, Harry's blog has given me the chance to feel what it may have been like to wait for those letters from a loved one, and the sense of never knowing.

Thank you BL, this is without a doubt one of the best sites on the internet, period.

David in Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

Anonymous said...

I read this blog every morning I enter work, it has become part of my morning routine...truly amazing job you have done with this.

Debbie said...

I've been following Harry's blog from Stow, Ohio for about a year and a half. What a novel concept for a blog - absolutely fantastic. I am still holding my breath wondering if Harry makes it through with the end so near. But as others have said, one never really knows what can happen and when. THANK YOU for this blog: the hard work is represents and the dedication you have shown.

Sockbug said...

Reading Harry's words from Houston, Texas! Thanks!

Laura said...

Congrats on a great way to create interest in Harry's life and history.

Debs said...

Like so many others i have been following this for so long and have experienced the despair of no posts and the joy when once again Harry's letters are received.
its the first site that I check when I log onto my PC each day.
Good Luck Harry!

Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog since February, when I heard about it on NPR. My father was born in October 1918--his war service came during the Second World War and Korea. He died Nov. 11, 1983, coincidentally, on Armistice Day.

What I find most interesting about this blog is how it has linked generations, and how it has brought together people from all over the world. I can't say I've personally met anyone who has responded to this blog, but I feel a kinship with each of you, because we were all rooting for Harry.

This was a brilliant idea, Mr. Lamin, and I want to thank you once again for sharing your grandfather's letters with the world. The called it the War to End All Wars...I hope one day that dream can be realized. I suspect Harry would, too.

Cecilia in Michigan.

Bell said...

I can't remember if I ever commented before (I think I did at the beggining of the year, when I started following the blog). Anyway, this is in response to your request- I've been following Harry, and am quite eager for its conclusion.

I'm a nineteen-year-old university student from Argentina (Literature and Linguistics), and I've been following the blog absolutely enthralled. I've come to care for Harry the same way I care for my friends, and hope things will be allright for him.

Thank you for sharing his story with us, and good luck with the book.

Albert said...

Thanks for sharing Harry's correspondence!

Anonymous said...

By now I am following Harrys live for more than a year - and everytime I am checking the blog I hope that ther will be a new letter and he is still 'alive'. Thank you.
Janina
(Muenster/Germany)

Anonymous said...

Very thrilling to get here. I've been following the blog form Madrid, Spain. It's great to learn actual stories from the protagonist himself. Really, great blog!

Manuel said...

It's very significant that Harry never showed any ambition nor desire to win the war, he just kept on writing, letter after letter, the same words: "I hope the war is finished..."
Congratulations and all the best for Harry from Asturias, Spain.

Duncan said...

I've been following this blog via RSS. My grandfather fought at the Somme and Ypres with the Royal Engineers. Saw a very interesting programme on UK TV last weekend about the last day of the war and how some units were still being sent into attack right until the last few minutes before the armistice. Tragic and pointless.

erathwomen said...

I'm nervously excited for Harry but also feel a bit sad that this is coming to an end. I'll miss waiting for the next installment and I'll miss knowing how Harry is. I feel a bit teary today, knowing the end is so close. How proud you must be to know how stalwart he was and what a good soldier he was. Even if he doesn't make it home, you know he fought hard for his country.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Oregon, USA. I'm following Harry's journey and hoping he returns home safely. I've also been wondering why we never learn anything from the horrors of war.

C Crino said...

I keep looking at the date and counting down to next week. Sort of holding my breath.

I always remember seeing a gravestone in the American cemetary in France of someone from my hometown. His date of death was 10 November 1918.

My best wishes to old Harry!

Anonymous said...

I have certainly enjoyed reading this blog and hope that the cease fire with Austria means Harry is out of danger.

Rklawton said...

Let's not forget that the British went on to fight the Red Army during the Russian Civil War.

Also let's not forget the great flu pandemic soon to follow. Global deaths from this event matched those of the war.

The threat of early demise has not passed.

Robert

Anonymous said...

I've been following from Connecticut, USA. Always very interesting, thanks for sharing all this with us.

Anonymous said...

Watching and waiting from the Canadian prairies.

Chris Breman said...

I've followed Harry's blog with great interest. The way you presented his story makes history come alive - thank you very much for sharing!

El Dude said...

Been following for some time now from Charlotte, NC. Wonderful job letting in on his life during this time. Thank you!

Sarah said...

I've been following this blog since January. I've really enjoyed following the progress of the war with Harry. It's made it all much more real than anything else ever could.

Anonymous said...

I have always believed that Harry lived through this mess and went on to have a regular life after this war was over. It seems that this possibility is a lot closer to being a reality as of this last letter and the actions in theatre.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such a fascinating and personal insight into your family history. What a wonderful and generous contribution you have made to those of us who have followed Harry's story, whether it be for school, research or personal interest. I hope there may be many more posts and that we may follow Harry's safe return home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This has been a very interesting experience. I hope you will continue to follow Harry through to the end.

Nicola said...

Have been following Harrry's journey for ages now and am hopeful for him. I have been fascinated by WW1 for a long time so to follow events through a soldier's own experiences and feeling the nervousness as I look every day to see if there's any more news leaves me full of admiration for those who lived through it.

Cheryl said...

Following from Plainfield IL. Love this blog.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog by chance when reading the BBC news web site. My great-grandfather, also from Cornwall, had tried to join the Army, but was too young and unable to fight in WWI. So, when I read about this blog, I was immediately drawn to it. Thank you for sharing your family's story with the world. (Annie from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Anonymous said...

I have been following Harry since the beginning, now we are reaching the end I am on tenderhooks to find out whether he survived and please went on to have a happy life!!

LB said...

Been following the blog from Illinois, USA... love it. It gives a much more emotional feel to the war then you'd ever get out of a history book.

wtfree3 said...

Most excellent news on the armistice today with the Austrians. Looks like Harry might make it. This has been a wonderful thing to follow. I wish safety for all those who serve their countries, when they call, in uniform. Your efforts and sacrifices are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog since the summer from Ontario, Canada. Thank you so much!

Sara McGrail said...

Holding my breath to see how Harry does next week ...

marybindc said...

I'm following from Washington, DC!

Christina Hidek said...

I always look forward to reading this blog. Thanks for your efforts!

Christina Hidek said...

I always look forward to reading this blog. Thanks for your efforts!

Ken said...

I have been following Harry from Wisconsin, USA. Outstanding!

Murr said...

thanks for this blog

Mark said...

Well let's hope he gets home safe...I wonder what happens afterwards (if he gets home ok!) It would be really interesting to have a postscript page with details of his life post war, what he did for a living, his immediate family, where he lived, when / how old he was when he dies etc. It seems we know so much of him over the past few years but know nothing yet of his "future" Thanks for all the efforts to bring this history to life... Mark (Hope you enjoyed your RTW trip Bill!)

Curtis, Kirkwood Missouri, USA said...

I've been following the story since I heard an mention of Harry's blog on a BBC broadcast. I majored in History while in college and find this to be an exceptional way to bring his story, in his own words, to an age he could not fathom and to people who would not have heard his story any other way.

I hope the next week is an easy one for Harry and we find out the rest of his story.

Anonymous said...

Been following for a while now, always glad to hear when Harry's 'going on alright'. It's hard to imagine what Harry and the others must have been feeling at this time but the tone of this latest letter certainly speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian living in Raleigh, NC USA. I've been following since near the beginning. I am worried about Harry. He's so close but it's not over yet.

smlg.ca said...

Reader here from Toronto, Canada via RSS.

Dave said...

Thank you so much for bringing Harry to us. I have been following it from Franklin, MA USA ever since I discovered it about 8 months ago. This is a beautiful example of what the Internet was conceived for: to foster interest in a place and time somewhat forgotten, to unite people from around the globe, to educate us, to touch our emotions.

Anonymous said...

This has been incredibly informative to me. Both my grandfathers were in "The Great War" and even though they are American (one was a Swedish immigrant), I still found this an exciting read. I never realized there was this type of fighting in Italy, as well. I have checked the blog each day for over a year now. I am a Technology Director in a school district in Illinois and I made sure to share this with our classes. I also sent the links to my mother and aunt as well as the rest of the family.

Thank you for the blog.
Mike Swanson

Anonymous said...

An excellent idea for a blog.

Ilkeston Cam said...

Been following the blog since it was featured on TV and living close to Awsworth has added an extra interest as Harry was a "local" lad.

I often wonder whether Harry knew my granddad who was born in 1887, ten years before Harry, but was a baker in Awsworth in 1901. There are a few pictures of the village including one of the school Harry attended on my website at http://www.ilkcam.com/2003/030629/Awsworth.html.

Parkylondon said...

I just wanted to add my comments to the 50 or so above. Thanks for doing this for us - it's been a very moving and yet entertaining series of posts over the past months. I only hope that he wasn't one of the unlucky ones who copped it after the ceasefire. One keeps ones fingers crossed.

Wolfram & Hart said...

I follow your / Harry's blog from Budapest, Hungary since (almost) the beginning. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have been following this blog for the past 18 months. Please let us know what happens to Harry and the rest of his family after the war. Thanks for all your hard work in maintaining this interesting blog.

Cheryl in Claremore, Oklahoma USA

dc said...

Great reading about Harry from Atlanta, USA. Since the war is soon over, I'd glad he made it! I hope you will be able to supply some biographical details of what happens to Harry after the war.

Tony from USA said...

Through the last several months I have looked forward to Harry's letters. It a rare, fascinating insight. You have honored your family by posting them.

HRH King Lerxst said...

I've followed Harry almost from the start, I find his accounts fascinating.

Jim Ahrens said...

I've still got my fingers crossed! I've been following for the last yyear or so from the US, and won't be completely happy until Harry is back in Blighty: so much can still happen......

Mimi said...

I have found this so interesting. I love history and first hand accounts. I just wish this was available when we studied World War 1 with my children. They always ask, has Harry posted a letter? I will be buying the book so we can read it when we study WW1 again:) Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your family.

melissa said...

I've been following for a while now - Oh, I'm nervous for Harry!
Many thanks for working so hard to bring this to us. It's a fascinating read!

Jennifer said...

I have loved reading about Harry! Thank you for bringing this gem of history to us.

Chris said...

fascinating stuff! Hope all is well for Harry now--I am reminded of my mother's cousin who survived WWII and was killed by a landmine before he left the desert!
Chris, Canada

Marilyn said...

It seems significant that Harry was able to mention several strategic facts in his Nov 4 letter. Was the censor becoming more relaxed?

Have followed Harry's progress with great interest.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic experience this has been - it shows all the emotions that would have been felt by everyone at the time.

Thank you .

Anonymous said...

I've followed the blog since june 07 and I've been gripped. It's fascinating stuff, brings the war to life. I'm 23 and couldn't imagine what lads of the same age went through and what sacrifices they made. I'm not sure my generation are made of the same stuff! Thanks for the blog, very well done. Dave, Wirral

Tolomere said...

This has been one of the most fascinating things that the Net has ever been used for, and I have been following this for over a year, hoping that Harry makes it back home to his loved ones safe and sound (at least as sound as one who experienced WWI could be).

It is with a profound sense of both joy and sadness that I see the approach of November 11th... joy for Harry's survival, sadness that we are nearing the end of his tale in WWI.

Thank you for this most amazing journey!

shooter said...

My fathers uncle was killed in action
in France on this date, Hope Harry fairs better

mattg said...

Recently picked this up again so saying hi. Heart is in my mouth thinking about the next week.

See Michael Palin's 'Last Day of WW1' documentary:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fg9hw/Timewatch_The_Last_Day_of_World_War_One/

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been following this blog since months and I am happy to see that Harry has made it safe until now.

Thanks for the effort, your blog is unique in the internet as it links history to new media in a thrilling manner.

Best wishes from Munich and thank you again.

Stefan

Anonymous said...

I'm reading the letters of Harry with great interest since I've heard about in the ARD-TV in Germany. I wish and hope, that Harry will manage to return back home safely and healthy.
I'm of opinion that Harry's letters are an important lecture for german kids in school - so we hope for the proposed book. "Thank you!" from germany for this great and fascinating blog!

Marc Bernard said...

I've been following for quite a while, from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for doing this.

richard booth said...

love this site - been following for the last year from Canada. just a few more days...

Robin from McLean, VA USA said...

Thanks for taking so much time to provide us with this blog. It has been a real treat to read!

ConnecticutYankee said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, it has been fascinating. Will we be following Harry until he returns home?

Anonymous said...

Reading this account has been a fascinating journey. Thank you for bringing it to us. My grandfather was with the Canadian Corp on the Western Front, and this brought that experience home for me. I find myself ferventing wishing for Harry's safe deliverance from that war as if it were happening now.
Godspeed Harry, whatever your fate was in this life.

Mantelli said...

I've been following Harry's adventures from St. Louis, Missouri. My father was only a year too young to go along with the troops, but told me many stories of slightly older peers.

This is a fascinating story. I hope Harry makes it through the rest of the war! Thank you for making this blog possible!

Fiona said...

What a brilliant journey you've taken us on! No doubt we're all keeping fingers crossed that Harry makes it through to 11th safely as well as making it home ok!

Anonymous said...

I am hoping that Harry survives this war. He feels like a member of my own family now.

richard booth said...

I find it interesting that although these events have long since transpired, there are thousands of people checking this site daily to find out what will happen to Harry. It's almost like Harry is living in a past, yet, current, state of indeterminacy. It reminds me a bit of Schrodinger's cat mind-experiment.

richard in Ontario, Canada

Anonymous said...

Each day I check in... as the war draws to its conclusion I hope each time as I log in Harry is very much alive and well

Anonymous said...

I have looked everyday to see if there has been a letter from Harry and then, with a sigh of relief, read the news quietly pleased that there has not been a telegram. But the times when there was no news for weeks were hard to bear - what must the family at home have felt?

Thank you for your sharing your family's experiences in such a unique and informative way. Good luck for the future.

Anonymous said...

A fantastic way to tell us about the experiences of a WW1 soldier. Thank you so much Bill for all of your hard work!

Claire said...

I've been following for a year, from Canada. I am hoping that everything turns out OK for Harry....

Anonymous said...

This blog is SO AMAZING. I live in Ontario and we follow it with great interest and hope only the best.My 15 year old daughter also very fascinated and always checks in too!!

The co-ordinator said...

Fantastic reading.

One of the first links I've checked every day for more than a year I think.

What will I do when the war is over?!

cowsandplows said...

I've been reading this blog for than a year, and I am so grateful that Harry has made it! While I know that the war is not over yet, I want to see Harry live on to ripe old age. To see such carnage, the waste of so much life, and survive is miraculous. A week to go until the Armistice! What will happen next?

Anonymous said...

Just posting to give you a count.

mark b said...

Outstanding recollection of turbulent historical events. The anticipation of 11/11/1918 and reading of Harry's reaction to it is exciting.

Anonymous said...

I have so enjoyed keeping up with all of Harry's letters. Thanks so much for posting these letters!

Robert said...

I have only been following Harry for the last half year, but still there were a few times that I checked and rechecked the blog even though I knew there would be no update. Let's hope that Harry makes it hone safely and let's be thankful for the wonders of modern day communications, with all your loved ones at our fingertips.

Many thanks for this experience!

Anonymous said...

A fascinating blog, which I've been hooked on for about 12 months.The horrors of war, as far as Harry describes them at all, are so understated... I'm hoping he is safe now! I'm really looking forward to the book coming out. Thank you for the blog.

Matthew C said...

I've been following Harry's blog for some months. He is clearly a master of understatement and one inevitably wonders what horros are behind the comment 'we have had some trying times'. Only another week to get through Harry!

Anonymous said...

I am an English girl in my twenties who is fascinated by the First World War and I have followed this blog from the start, finding it to be a moving and unique insight into the lives of those who lived through the Great War.

My Great Uncle, a Captain in the RAMC died of wounds just before the Armistice, not knowing that his wife was three months pregnant with their first child. I truly hope that Harry makes it.

Many thanks for making these wonderful letters available to the public in such an exciting and immediate way.

Lindsay said...

Really enjoy your blog. I've been following since February. You've really given a voice to this war.

Anonymous said...

This blog has been a fascinating look into the life of an ordinary soldier in a war I little understand. This one man's life has inspired me to read up on this war and to learn more about the overall picture. Thank you so much for sharing. It is with much hope that I'll get to read about how Harry gets home and what his life is like after the war.

Thanks again for putting the effort into this.

Simon, North Wales said...

I have followed this account for nearly a year now and found it very informative. I have felt closer to understanding the fears and feelings of the rank and file soldier through this terrible conflict than through my reading in other accounts of the great war.

My only hope is that Harry survies the next few days as he rightly deserved.

Anonymous said...

I've been following the blog since it was mentioned in the newspaper in january. Very exciting!

Greetings from Lars W. - Oslo, Norway.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great (and so personal) blog!
I have been following the blog with great interest, and sometimes dread, since January 2008.
We're getting so close to the end. I hope we continue to get positive news.

Thanks!
Serge Boivin (Canada)

Anonymous said...

Because you asked...

A silent reader who was pulled into this experience from my very first visit. For many months I've begun every day checking on Harry's progress. I thank you so much for sharing this portion of your family hitory with us...from Boston, MA USA.

Anonymous said...

We are sitting on the edge of our seats. Harry, please make it home. The Traub Family, West Dundee IL

Andrew Lamin said...

I have been following this for a long while, my Grandfather (Private Jack Lamin, Field Artillery) never told any of us anything about his war experiences, so I have taken a close interest in how someone from the same area faced that most apocaliptic time.

Anonymous said...

Like many I have loved reading this blog. Thank you Bill. It looks like he will make it..
How long Bill would it have taken this letter to reach home? Would it have arrived after the 11th November?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog, followed with great interest.

Josh from Alberta, Canada

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for an amazing blog. My 13 yr old son is totally fascinated by it.
I hope Harry is able to come home and be embraced by his family.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this since mid 2007 - the idea of posting on the day has been brilliant. When will we learn that violence never wins?
Good luck with the book
In Peace.

Jo Allen said...

well done Bill, your a fantastic person for sharing your Grandfather's letters, hope Harry makes it home safely. It's been an emotional journey.
Jo

Sarah Goodyear said...

I have been following for several months now, since I heard about it on NPR in the US. I have to say, I have been counting down to Armistice Day for weeks now.

double i said...

This blog has been my first stop on the internet every morning for the past year plus. Thank you very much for the postings.

Brooklyn, New York

Saharafrog said...

My stomach tightens up each time I see a new letter posted. I'm always in fear that it will be an official letter, and not one from Harry.
--SF

jc said...

I've been following this blog for over a year, after being alerted to it by a colleague (a history teacher). I'm going to miss Harry's letters and history.

Anonymous said...

I won't relax until Harry is home safe and sound with his family. Only another week until it's all over. I'll really miss reading his letters. Thank you for an amazing blog.


Jackie

Anonymous said...

I have followed the blog for almost a year, it has been most interresting!
/Jesper

BL from Pensacola, FL, U.S.A. said...

I have been following your blog since 2007 and it has been very interesting. I especially like to see the images of the letters, cards, etc. Thank you for the blog. I am still anxious about Harry's fate and hope he makes it home safe and sound.

Anonymous said...

I hope Harry makes it!

joan d said...

Thanks Bill for sharing Harrys letters with us,thinking of him every day now,hope he is going on alright

Anonymous said...

I have been checking on Harry for the past year or so.
My great uncle was a veteran of the war.
Thank you for sharing.
Murfreesboro, TN USA

Sara said...

Following Harry's progress from Los Angeles, CA. Your blog has made WWI seem so current, especially given the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog for some time now, and like everyone else, hope that Harry makes it safely home.
Anne Jones. England

Anonymous said...

my american history class and I have been following your story since March, 2008. What a great thing you have done, pulling this all together. Thanks so much, all of us are enjoying Harry's adventures and are hoping we lives to see the end.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog. Have been reading for about a year. Thinking of my Grandfather who was in France during this same time.

Jackson in Texas

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to Harry and his extended family.

I've follwed the blog with interest because Harry was brought up in the same locality as my Grandfather, so I can hear the local accent I read the letters. My Grandfather was one of the underage boy soldiers - happily he came back. Hope Harry comes home soon too, and survives the difficult winter and 'flu epidemic of 1918/19.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the time you've put into this. It's been amazing to really get a feel for how long the gaps between letters must have felt for relatives back home.

joan said...

Thank you so much for sharing Harrys letters with us.This blog is excellant!

John R said...

6 Great Uncles on my Dad's side (from Yorkshire) and my Mum's Dad (New Zealand) were survivors of the Great War. I have followed your blog from the beginning and have found it an amazing portrait of history as seen from the foot soldier's perspective. I now live in the USA, where this crevasse in history is seemingly treated as a mere footnote. I am reminded of the saying (and I paraphrase) "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it."

Thank you for all your hard work and good luck with your future endeavours, especially the book in which I am very interested and am looking forward to seeing more information about it here.

John
Monticello, MN USA

Anonymous said...

I too, like all before, check for a letter from Harry every morning, and when we haven't heard for a while have to check in the evening as well. I have mixed feelings, so happy that it looks like he has made it and sadness that this fantastic blog will be over, but will only be content when I hear that he is home surrounded by his family and having a cup of tea in the back kitchen. Thank you so much for all your hard work - I look forward to reading the book.

Kind regards

Linda

Anonymous said...

Hello - girl from Norway here. Saw a tip about this blog on the Internet, and have followed it since. The details gives a stunning insight to the war, as it was.

Fee, Edinburgh said...

Been following for a while now, checking daily for news. Made pinning on the Poppy just a little more poignant this year.

Thanks for sharing such a personal story.


Lest we forget ...

Jake said...

Many thanks for the blog, I've been following it avidly since I heard about it on Radio 4. It makes the reality of war much more personal and I hope Harry makes(/made) it home safely!

Anonymous said...

I also have been reading for about a year and have been fascinated by Harry's story. Your posting of his letter and the entire BLOG contents has been a wonderful way to revitalize and humanize a war that is "old history" to so many.

Hope Harry makes it home to his family!

June

Anonymous said...

I have followed this from almost the beginning, and have read widely about the 1st WW because of it.
How these men retained their sanity amidst so much horror eludes me.
History tells us that Harrys life in the immediate future won't be a bed of roses either.
Excellent work Bill.
Paul - NZ

todd helmkamp said...

I am a bit surprised at how much I have grown attached to the people from this story! Thanks for publishing about your family history!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading since I heard about the blog earlier this year on a television program here in the US. It's just a marvelous way to connect to these events 90 years ago. Bravo!

Vern in Montana said...

I have been following Harry for over a year now and have become quite fond of him and his family in England - The armistic is coming and I have th horrible feelign that Harry will be the last man killed on the Italian front. I certainly hope not.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this for quite some time. I saw it online one day and was hooked. Thank you. It's interesting and I look for new entries everyday.

Jennifer

Rebecca and Chris said...

I have been following Harry's journey for a long time and have been getting more and more nervous as November 11 approaches, wondering what is going to happen.

Thanks for sharing this amazing story!

felisia said...

i've been following your blog for about a year and i would be very sorry if anything happens to harry, i began to like him very much. and it's soooo close till the end of the war.

Lisa E said...

I have been following Harry's blog since January this year and hoping, like everyone else, that he got through the war okay. I have visited Flanders but found it difficult to connect with the history there because it is now so peaceful. It is through accounts like these that the war can be brought back into reality for modern people and for this I thank you so much. A fantastic idea and thoroughly gripping, I'll almost be sorry when it's over!

I will be attending the 90th anniversary of the Armistice in Whitehall next week and I will certainly be thinking of Harry and all his comrades that gave so much in that horrible war.

Thank you.

Aurora said...

Such a short time to go now. I am hoping and willing Harry to make it home safely, and that the telegram boy wont be walking to his front door bearing tragic news. My father, as a little boy, remembered the telegram boy visiting almost every other house in the road and then one terrible day he knocked on their front door.

Thank you so much for this very moving blog.

Wild Trout said...

An 18 month anthem of hope for today's youth. Thank you for your efforts.

Anonymous said...

I've been following Harry's story for over a year from Virginia, Washington DC, and now in North Carolina... best of luck Harry!

Anonymous said...

I've been following Harry's story for over a year from Virginia, Washington DC, and now in North Carolina... best of luck Harry!

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog, many thanks.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to relive history. I've been following this blog for about a year now and have really enjoyed using it to learn more about The Great War. Thanks for doing this. Your grandfather would be proud!

Linda said...

have been following the blog for about a year, and like everyone else have been keeping my fingers crossed for Harry.

Thank you for sharing this with us all

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it's nearly all over; a luxury we have that the guys involved did not!!

Anonymous said...

I have been watching the site with great anticipation hoping Harry suvives the war

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for all your efforts with this blog. 90 years after WW 1 we're hoping Harry once reached his home safely.

Today let's think about all the soldiers all over the world, fighting useless battles, risking their lifes. Like Harry they all want to make it home safely to kiss their friends and families.
Give peace a serious chance!

Greetings from Bavaria.

Anonymous said...

History didn't interest me much in school, but your presentation in this blog has got me paying attention. Thank you for your wonderful job. I'm really enjoying learning about the war from Harry's letters.

Sunny

Anonymous said...

I've been following Harry's blog for quite some time now and am glad to see that he is doing so well close to the end. Thanks for sharing this amazing insight with us all.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog for a while now, if something were to happen to Harry during the war I think i'll be very upset. Keep up the good work.

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