Sadly, Bill, my father passed away yesterday afternoon, 30th December, aged 94. It wasn't completely unexpected, he has been very frail for quite some time.
Bill (Willie in the blog) was born 9 months before his father Harry was conscripted. He was one of main characters, frequently mentioned in Harry's letters. Click here for the start of Willie's story, in four instalments.
I am very sad that Bill was never really able to grasp how the blog worked. He certainly wasn't able to understand that the book was about his father.
Posted by Pte Harry Lamin at 5:51 pm
William Henry Bonser (Harry) Lamin 1920 onwards.
I have been dreading writing this. Possibly, because I don’t know enough about the man to make a decent job of it. Also, it has to mark the end of the amazing journey that the blog has led me through.
Well, here goes. (Click on the image to enlarge it)
Harry left the army in January 1920 (Note; he was, of course discharged from the Royal Munster Fusiliers - not the York & Lancaster Regiment) and was given a final payment of £61 2s 1d (£61.10) made up of almost £34 back pay and a £15”war gratuity"(an example of the military’s sense of humour, £5 a year for enduring unbelievable conditions), 4 weeks pay for leave (I was sure "furlough" was a U.S. term), ration allowance and a clothing allowance. From this £1 was deducted. Harry was allowed to keep his heavy army greatcoat for the journey home. If he handed it in at a railway station, he would get his £1 back. The £61 2s 1d was paid, by post, in three weekly instalments and was worth about £3,000 in today’s money. note; The paper that the Demobilization (surely, "Demobilisation" in England in 1920!) Account was printed on has disintegrated. I just did a jigsaw job on the scanner bed and then returned the pieces to the envelope. BL
As far as I can tell, once Harry got home in January 1920, he picked up where he left off and found employment in a local lace factory.
Even that is not known with certainty. I have heard that times for the family were “very difficult” in the 1920s. It was a difficult time for the country, there was much unemployment and many ex-servicemen found it difficult to find employment. The promised “fit country for heroes to live in" just didn’t materialise. There was no welfare state provision. Maybe Jack and Kate were able to help out. Ethel and Harry were, of course, looking after Kate’s daughter, Connie. No doubt Kate would have chipped in to help with that and, equally doubtless, Harry and Ethel would have been grateful for that help.
I'll continue Harry's story later.
Posted by Pte Harry Lamin at 4:44 pm