Visit to Italy


Well, if Harry can't come home, then I'm going out there!

I've arranged a visit to Italy to see the battlefields and to check out where Harry visited. Rocco, one of our faithful contributors, has generously offered accommodation and to be my guide. I'm travelling out on Wednesday 16th September and returning on 20th. Ryanair has provided flights from Cornwall to Venice via London at a ridiculous price with ideal connections. Seems too good to be true!

If anyone has any wish for me to take photographs of a particular grave or location, I'll do my best to oblige. If you're in Italy and want to meet up, let me know Email and I'll try to sort it.


The local TV news announced yesterday that Ryanair was cancelling all flights from Cornwall! After a few moments of great disappointment, it was confirmed that the flights don't stop until Oct 1st. Thankfully, I'll be home by then. BL

Letters to Jack & Kate 23rd August 1919


Aug 23rd

Dear Kate
Just a line to let you know that I have received your letter. I am pleased to hear that the wedding came off alright and that it is all over. It as been awful hot out hear this month and we have had no rain for a long time. The grapes are just about getting ripe, well in another weeks time they will be getting
[harvesting] them. I hope to be on leave very soon as it will very soon be a year since I was at home. so I think it is time I had one I will let you know as soon s I hear anything about it. I am pleased to hear that they are all keeping well at home. I have been transfered to the Munster Fusiliers now so my proper address and No [Number]will be at the bottom of the letter. Write as often as you can and let me know how you are getting on. What did Annie think to Connie when she went to see her does she get any better. I will write again soon
With Best Love
Harry
Address
408432 Pt Lamin
1st Gar Batt
Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R L9
I.E.F. Italy




40843
1st Gar. Batt
Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R. L9
I.E.F. Italy
Aug 23rd

Dear Jack
Just a line to let you known that I am alright and keeping well. I have heard nothing about leave yet but I hope to be home in September sometime, if I have good luck. I am very pleased to know that you found Ethel and Willie well. I have been transferred to the Munsters altogether now, so I have got a fresh No. It as been awful hot out here this month. we have hardly known what to do. The grapes are just about to ripe I expect in another week or so they will be getting them. I am pleased to hear that Annies wedding came off alright and I hope she will be happy. I expect Willie will miss her for a bit but they will have to make the best of it.
With Best Love to you both
Harry


Harry has been officially transferred to The Royal Munster Fusiliers as, I suppose, the rest of his battalion has gone! At that time, a new regiment meant a new service number. Faithful readers may remember that when Harry first went to France he had several service numbers until he settled on the York & Lancaster Regiment. The British Army today assigns a soldier a unique service number when he joins up. That stays with him for the whole of his career. (Mine was 24108071 Sir! - and, 40 years on, I can still remember it)

Three letters in a few days suggests that Harry isn't too busy. BL

Letter to Kate, 19th August 1919


32507/9th Batt Y+L
att Royal Munster Fusiler
A.P.O. Box R. L9
I.E.F Italy
August 19th/1919

Dear Kate
Just a line to let you know that I have received your letter, I have also received one from Jack. Ethel told me in her last letter that Annie had got married I am very glad that it is all over. I think she will be alright. I was pleased to hear that Mr Leverton was their and Annie Bonser. I dont know when I shall get a leave but I hope it will not be long, write as often as you can and let me know all the news. It has been very hot this month out hear. We dont get to know much about demob I expect they will soon start now. write as often as you can
With Best Love
Harry

Harry's Song


Maybe we can use this community that has evolved from Harry's blog to benefit others.


Inspired by Harry's Blog, I've written "Harry's Song". With a singer friend, I've now produced a finished version that I can offer to you all.

O.K, it may not be your cup of tea. (English expression) but you may have gained some pleasure, education or inspiration from the blog, and could consider contributing a tiny amount to a deserving charity - One that Harry would certainly have known and supported.

The "Haig Fund" was set up by Field Marshall Haig to help ex-servicemen. It is now administered by The Royal British Legion.

View and listen to a small clip of the video version

video

All you need (should) do to make the contribution is to click on the "Donate" button. Donate by Paypal or Credit card £1 (About $1.70 USD ) and I'll email to you a link to download 2 versions of the song - one as an MP3 file for your ipod and the other as video file, complete with pictures from the book. Proceeds to the Haig Fund. (And it's better than the Radiohead song, IMHO).

Even if you don't like the song, it's a way to say thank you to the many who, like Harry, suffered in wars and to show some appreciation for what Harry's Blog has achieved. (The main blog has just passed an astonishing 2.5 million page loads and has inspired and moved countless readers world-wide.)







Letter to Kate, 8th August 1919


32507/ 9th Batt Y+L
attached Royal Munsters Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R. L9 I.E.F. Italy
Aug 8/8/19

Dear Kate
I have received you letter and was very pleased. I with it. I have also had a letter from Jack. I have told him not to bother now as I expect coming home on leave next month perhaps before. It is very hot out here this month and we are still out in the country, but I dont get much time off. Write and tell me how Annie is getting on I have not had a letter for a long. I had a letter from Ethel telling me she had gone back to Mill street but both are keeping in good health Willie must get a rum chap as he is always up to some tricks I shall be glad to get home again but trade is very slack. I think I shall manage to get out of the army by about April next year. it might be before, well I hope so. Let me know what Annie said about Connie and if she is keeping in good health. If I hear any thing about leave I will let you know at once. Jack told me in his last letter that he enjoyed his holidays very much and that he found time to visit Ilkeston. Did you get the letter about me asking for one or two cheap handkerchiefs. Write as often as you can, but if you have not sent any handkerchiefs I should not bother.
With Best Love
Harry

(PS) Address same only L9. instead of L1

Letter to Jack, 6th August 1919

August 6/1919
32507/9th Y+L
attached Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R. L.9
I.E.F. Italy
Dear Jack
I was very pleased to received your letter. And to hear that you had a good time when on your holidays. I dont think I should bother any more now about writing as I expect I shall get a leave before Septembers out I might get one any time now, as I have nearly twelve months in, and it is a long time to go without leave especially when then war is over. I expect I shall get out of the army about next spring if all goes well. All the men who joined up before July1st 1916 are getting released from the army as soon as possible, so I expect when this lot is gone. I shall be amongst the next. If I hear anything about a leave I will write and let you know as soon as possible. I am very pleased you paid a visit to Ilkeston and found them well but I hope Annie's face is better. I guess Willie gets a rum chap what had he got to say to you Ethel tells me he gets no better always up to some tricks. he was going to send me a parcel last time Ethel wrote all sorts of things bobbins etc. The weather hear is very hot. I think it is the hottest month of the year. I expect we shall be out of Italy by november. so if that is correct I shall have had two years in Italy quite long enough. Write as often as you can and let me know all the news. I will write again soon.
With Best Love to you both
Harry
(P.S) Address same only
L.9 instead of L.1

Harry seems a bit more optimistic about leave but his prediction of not getting out of the army for another 6 or 7 months isn't so good. We shall see, BL