Thank you to Harry's Readers - The story will continue!


Over the last 24 hours, I have been totally overwhelmed by the comments from Harry's readers. I have several times been reduced to tears. Please take a little time to go to the "Readers' Comments" blog to see the wonderful scale of this following.

Thank you for your kind wishes, notes of appreciation and messages of support. At times, this amazing journey has been hard work but the response from you all has made it well worth while.

AND, - the story isn't over yet.

I will continue to publish his letters as they were written. Still, his family wait for news. Harry, (like his dear readers) has no idea when he will get the order to go home.

Without giving too much away, there's a lot of Harry's story still to unfold.


Then there's the book. BL

36 comments:

Paul from Birmingham, UK said...

Have been following Harry's story ever since I first heard about it ~ I can't describe it as merely a compelling read ~ I have to say I have found it to be a profound experience which has served to help me truly understand what it was like for the individual soldier and their families during the Great War. Only a few days to go ~ hope all works out well for Harry. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share in Harry's story.

Kimball Hutchinson said...

Its easy to become so wrapped up in our own lives that we become oblivious to the world around us. Harry has provided a window into another life that is far removed from our own experiences. It has been quite a journey and one I doubt I will forget. My hat off to you Harry, see you in Blighty.

Anonymous said...

Like Harry's family, we've been celebrating the Austrian armistice; and like Harry's family, we'll keep praying to see him go home.
I can only imagine what it was like for the troops at the front: the football the War Diary mentions must have been only part of it. Games of all sorts, tons of letters written, probably some mementos collected or gifts for thier families, lots of photographs taken.
And I'd guess there was a lot of call for the battalion chaplains: there must have been some interesting sermons on Sunday the 3rd!, as well as many, many individual soldiers wanting to talk to them.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for well over a year and have found it completely fascinating.
At the same time I have been typing up letters that I found when I cleared my Dad's house. They are the letters that he sent home to his Mum during WW2 whilst he was a flight mechanic near Cairo, also and perhaps more interestingly there are the letters that his Mum and his young sister sent to him (amazing that he was able to keep them all). So whilst he was enjoying life in a warm climate with no rationing, his family at home were subject to air raids, an almost direct hit on the house by a doodlebug (while they were in the air raid shelter) and severe food shortages. A rather topsy turvey war!
My Grandfather also served in WW1 in France, he was lucky in the fact that he could drive and was therefore given a driving job that saved him from being sent to the trenches. My Gran then spent two wars waiting for news...from her fiance in the first war and her son in the second.
It is very hard to imagine just how hard it was to live through two world wars, Harry's Blog is helping so many to understand.
Sue, Chelmsford UK

Ian said...

Doh! Yesterday I said how much I enjoyed your site ... and forgot to say thank you for all your effort ... a big thanks, Harry would be proud of you :o)

erathwomen said...

Oh no Bill, I don't want it to stop! This is an historic day in 2008, I want my history from 1918! :) Thanks so much for doing this. I'm sad that Harry won't be part of so many days of my months, but I'm so glad to know he made it. I'm teary now.

Marcy

Tracy from Manchester, England said...

Thank you for sharing Harry's story and creating such a great blog. I have followed from the beginning, checking in every day and it has been a captivating journey. I wait with fingers crossed that all will be well for Harry

Anonymous said...

HARRY, just say the name and thousands of people all over the world know who you mean. He has been taken to the hearts of so many people. If only the politicians in this world could come together in peace and harmony like all the people all over the world who are praying for Harry to survive and come home safetly.
Thankyou for your time in bringing Harry to life.

Anonymous said...

This has been a fascinating journey so far. Hope and fear have been fighting it out as November 11approaches; I'm a little reassured by the hint that "there's a lot of Harry's story still to unfold." Thank you very much for sharing Harry's perspective with us!

Anonymous said...

My great uncle fell in Palestine during WW1, and my grandfather lost an arm and half his back in the horrific trench warfare in France. He never spoke about his experiences until shortly before he passed away in his eighties. Thank you BL for sharing Harry's story with us, and for giving so many of us, from all corners of the world, such an important insight into such a courageous, yet betrayed generation. John - London UK

Anonymous said...

I remember that at this point, as my time to leave Vietnam neared, feeling like the bullets, mortar shells, and all the rest, seemed to be larger than before and moving faster. I felt like they were looking for me in particular, just to make sure I didn't make it. The terror was absolute, but I could not let on. I am convinced that I aged at an accelerated rate and am paying for that experience even today.

Looking back, I think the problem was that after I had been in country a short while I felt I actually had little hope of making it out alive and that somehow had a calming effect. Finding myself so close to actually making it brought back hope and that was not a good thing.

Good luck to Harry. I hope he makes it safe and sound in body and mind.

Anonymous said...

Been following since you started.

Congrats on the books, the stamps, the honours and everything. It has been a wonderful adventure so far, and I'm looking forward to more!

Anonymous said...

Ever since I heard about this blog, I've logged on every day. I've been wondering/worrying if he had died since no new letters where coming and then when a letter comes, I breathe a sigh of relief.
Thank you Bill for bringing your grandfather 'back to life' to make people all over the world truly understand what WW1 was like for ordinary soliders and their families.

tufty said...

Following others' comments, I've been reading the blog since the start and have found it compelling. Thank you for your opus. It has been a joy to follow.

Frank said...

I have been following Harry and his letters almost from the beginning and checked back for news every now and then. Ath these moments it has been like wondering what a friend might be doing I haven't seen in a while.

Having become familar with Harry and his family, reading his letters and all this interesing background information, I am really looking forward to see him coming home safely.

Thank you for your dedication to this brilliant project!

Paul Kriston, Chicago, IL said...

This continues to be the best 'first person' account of history that I have ever seen. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share this with the world. History can be and often is so politicized that we never get the feeling of what it truly was like for the general populace. Your family should be commended for electing to keep this valuable correspondence instead of cleaning the clutter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing these letters with the world. I look forward to "getting mail" from Harry and get a glimpse of how his family must have felt waiting for his letters.

Anonymous said...

ive been following harrys blog and must say a thank you to yourself for the time and effort you have put in .im here in ireland and a good number of irishmen fought in the great war and wwii but it was always kinda shunned upon for them to openly talk about it .when you think about it harry must have been a father figure to some of the kids that he was with .great work "least we forget"
john in ireland

Rebekah, Switzerland said...

Many thanks for the blog, I've been checking nearly everyday since finding it about a year ago and I have told all my family about it. What a great view onto a lost world, which really is only just in our past.

Jürg said...

Jürg from Switzerland

I don't like reading at all...
except your Blog... I'm with it since the beginning... it puts you 90 years back in time... and makes you realise how good we have it today.
Thankyou for sharing your private memories with us. Great Job.

AWM employee said...

Hi,

I work for the Australian War Memorial. Very fascinating letters. Thanks for making the time to do all this.

Anonymous said...

Been following Harry's story since the introduction-posts. It is extremely fascinating to read about one persons trials during this time. After a while you feel like you know Harry, and it's been more than once I've dreaded opening the blog - in fear of bad news. Hope this will end in a bookdeal, and a movie of sorts... All the best!

Florian said...

Thanks for doing this blog! I can imagine it's hard work...
As a historian focussing on WWI I find it remarkable how many people became interested in the war just because of the blog. When reading some of the comments posted here I can't help but thinking of the old quote:
"War is delightful to those who have not experienced it."

Greeting from Germany, Florian

Anonymous said...

I am happy the story will continue. I peaked at the Commonwealth Graves website ealier.
Thank you for sharing this. I shouldn't say I enjoyed reading. I found myself emotional when reading it.

Pamela said...

I have been following the blog from Toronto, Canada since January 2008, and during that time Harry has very much endeared himself to me. His simple, loving letters home to his family are filled with his longing to see them again as well as an uncomplaining stoicism about his own, very tough, day to day existence. You can't help but marvel at how he reduces the rigour and horror of life in the trenches to phrases like, "We have had some trying jobs lately in the front lines." I've been very worried about him over the last few weeks as his battalion went into serious action- the hastily sent postcard showed the peril he was in. The suspense has been growing day by day. Now, with the war almost over, I am starting to hope that against the odds, and unlike so many others, he will make it back home after all. I'm rooting for ya, Harry!

The blog is a brilliant idea-so real that it feels like WW1 is happening today. Many thanks for making Harry live again.
Pamela, Toronto

Leisuretoad said...

It has been a thrilling and educative journey back in time . I hope very much that Harry makes it home safely and that we will learn more of how he copes with civilian life again. Thank you for all your effort in bringing Harry's archive to life. I wish you every success with the book.

VioletSky said...

This story has had me rivetted for a long time - sometimes fearful to look in, yet joyful for the news. Thank you for the immense effort it must have been to share all this with the world.

St Bart's PA said...

Fascinating - many thanks for all the effort you've put into this. I'm very interested to find out what happens next and whether Harry reflects on the war and his experiences.

The Slingerland family from Ugchelen, The Netherlands said...

We have been following Harry and his letters for over a year now and we would like to thank you for sharing his letters with us.

Stanley Kivell said...

Thanks for sharing Harry and your family with the world.

Anonymous said...

There's a new Oxford University website on the 'Great War', at www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa that you might find of interest.

Michael said...

Excactly 90 years ago the armistice treaty between Germany and the Allies was signed in Compiègne Forest, ending the Great War.
An ideal moment to thank you for sharing your family's history with us. It has been a great read and I'm looking forward to the coming entries.
Hopfully Harry makes it back home safly.
Thanks again from Germany

Carrie said...

Thank you so much for making these letters public. I have enjoyed following Harry's progress and am much relieved that he is going to make it out alive! I hope he doesn't catch the influenza!

Anonymous said...

Each year on Remembrance day I think about our soldiers... a little bit for a few moments...
This year is different. I have been anxious about Harry's fate for a while, and I keep checking the blog in the hope of seeing good news come in. I keep telling myself "today is the day". While I wait to hear from Harry, I'll read about other soldiers who have fought bravely for us.

Thanks again for reminding us so vividly that it is not faceless armies but people like us, our family, neighbours, and friends, who face danger each day to make the world safer.

Serge Boivin (Canada)

Tor Erik Nilsen, Norway said...

Thanks for an exciting blog! I have kept following it almost the entire last year, and have not yet read the last post...

As a Norwegian I have no realtives who might have participated in the battlefields, only sailors bothered by German U-boats.

Anonymous said...

I discovered this blog yesterday 10/03/09. It is riverting. I am also researching my family's time during WW1, a grandfather,his two cousins, a great grandfather and his two brothers all in AIF and all bar one came home, the one buried at Crucifix Corner Cemetry in France.
I have loved reading Harry's letters and am interested in how he tells his brother Jack much more about the reality of life on the line than he does his sister (understandably I guess for the times and thoughfulness of brothers)Harry seems to have been an optomistic and happy soul. Someone to be very proud of.
BL your work in putting this together inspires me to keep going so that I can also document my findings.
I have planned to go to our Dawn Service on Anzac Day April 25 for the first time this year and now I will also have Harry to reflect uopn too.