Back from Leave. Letter to Jack 1st Oct 1918

Harry has been home, but is now back in Italy. He writes to Jack.

Oct 1st/ 1918
32507/ 9th York & Lancs
C Company
Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know I have arrived safe back in Italy it is not very nice to be after being at home but I shall have to make the best of it. I was very pleased to find them all well at home and Willie looking so well. The weather is still very hot, and we do our marching at night. I hope you got home safe after your holiday. We are on rest at present in Italian barracks but I don't know how long for. Write back soon as possible as it will be a long time before I get a letter.
Remember me to Agnes.

With best Love to you both.


With the sort of comment from Harry that we are used to by now. "I shall have to make the best of it"

Harry's Stamps, Available now,

The set of postage stamps dedicated to the World War One servicemen is now available. Followers of Harry's progress may wish to buy the "Harry Sheet", six stamps with Harry's picture and a short quotation from one of his letters.

The complete set celebrates six different servicemen, with quotations from each. The set is also available through the website.

To see details of what is on offer, and how to order click here.


Update with missed material + IDBAPO answers

I'm getting loads of helpful suggestions. The real complication is that my original transcription was IBDAPO, whereas the latest transcription is IDBAPO and, being in Australia, with the letter in England, I can't easily check which Harry actually wrote. Apologies.

"Army Post Office" seems pretty cut and dried. It could be 33rd Infantry Division British APO or 33rd Brigade D APO wher the "D" stands for "Distribution", "Dispersal" or something else.

Both the 33rd Brigade and 33rd Division were there in Flanders (May 1917) but neither seem to have had the West Yorks as members at that time.

We'd better leave this investigation on hold until I can check the original.

His full address was "Pt Lamin West York Reg number lines 33rd IDBAPO section 17 BEF France" - temporarily in the West Yorks before joining the York & Lancaster Regiment. email

Thanks to David, Marcy, Michelle, Marilyn, Mari, Robert,Gy and to anyone else who has made suggestions or researched the topic. We have a wonderful community out there.

While Harry is home on leave, it would seem a good opportunity to publish a card that Harry sent to Jack last November. I simply missed it as it wasn't kept with the letters, organised in date order. My apologies.

Harry is on leave. We must remain aware that many soldiers found their time on leave extremely trying. They were in an environment where no one could have the slightest understanding of the horrific world they had left behind. Many were relieved when the leave ended and they could return to their comrades who could understand. BL

Harry Goes on Leave, September 1918 & Postage Stamps!

There is a gap in the letters. This is certainly due to Harry being granted leave back to England.

In general, ordinary soldiers could expect to get around two weeks home leave each year. Harry has definately not had leave since he arrived in Italy in late 1917. I suspect, but have no firm evidence that he had leave in August 1917 from Flanders. There was a gap in his letters for that month. I think that he would have made some sort of comment in his letters if he hadn't had leave for around 20 months!

I do have evidence of this summer's leave and will be publishing it in due course. Currently then, we can assume that Harry is home with his family.

Also imminent is the publication of postage stamps that include a picture of Harry and an extract from one of his letters. When published, they will be available from this website. What a great honour for Harry.

The stamps are officially released. Unfortunately, I haven't the complete details of how to order. I should have those details in a day or two.

It's quite possible to order just "Harry" sheet, but the philatelists tell me that as far as a collector is concerned, a "broken" set will have little or no value. The 6 sheets that are available would make up a complete set and, potentially, be more valuable . BL