Letters to Jack, and to Kate,October 3rd 1917

3rd October 1917

Dear Jack

Just a line to let you know I’m going on all right. In my last letter I told you we was waiting for the lads coming out well that night I had to go up the line to help them out with the guns. we brought them part way in the lumber waggons on the way we had a smash a motor lorry ran into us smashed the wheels of the lumber wagon and tipped us all out but we only got a few bumps which we are used to. Three days after, we were called up the line again of course I went this time. We had to go to the front line were it was on the Menin Road no doubt you have heard about it. We were there for three days it was awful the shelling day and night. We relieved the KOYLI about 10 o’clock and what do you think Fritz came over about 5 o’clock next morning we had an exciting time for about one hour and a half I can tell you. but we beat him off he never got in our trenches he was about two hundred strong it was a picked storming party so the prisoners say that captured, they brought liquid fire with them and bombs and all sorts but not many got back we had twenty casuals and the captain got killed a jolly good fellow too. I was pleased to get out of it but did not feel nervous when I saw them coming over. No 1 in our section was on the gun and we used our rifles. Our Coy as to go before the general for the good work we have done. We have just been given a long trousers again as we have had had Short ones all summer. I hope you are going on alright as was pleased to hear you are keeping in good health, write again as soon as possible. I am always ready for a letter. I think the mug will be very nice for Willie

With best love


Oct 3rd

Dear Kate,

Just a line to let you know I’m going on alright. We had an exciting time and this time up the line. We had only been in about six hours when fritz’s came over to us. We had an hour and a half of it but we beat them back and they lost a good many men too not many got back I can tell you. We lost #### (pencilled out –censored?) which I’m sorry to say and about #### wounded. I think the mug will be all right for Willie which Jack is getting for him. If you send me anything it will come in very nice the chocolate is very good I should like a bit of cake, if you could afford it really gets crushed so if it is not packed careful. Write as soon as possible. I hope you’ll get on alright at your fresh place

with best love

from Harry

These letters are remarkably parallel to the account in the battalion's war diary for the 30th September / 1st October. Click to link to the War Diary

Scroll down to find the entry for 30th September


gouldie said...

What a great idea! Thanks for posting this. I'm going to follow the blog, rather than google our soldier, to learn his fate.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine wearing shorts in a trench environment.

PastelArtist said...

Heard about this on Radio4, I look forward to following.

My father was wounded in WW1, I can find no information, not even where he served, you are lucky. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I also got the intro via Radio4 - please keep up the excellent work. One of the most moving experiences anyone can have is a guided tour of the WWI area around Ypres and Paschendale. It makes grown men cry, and maybe ought to be compulsory for all schoolkids.

Anonymous said...

I too heard about this on Radio 4. I think you are doing an amazing thing by bringing this to the rest of the world. Harry would be so proud.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic collection of memories.

Thank you so much for sharing.

I am hooked and can't wait for the next letter. I can only imagine how Harry's wife and brother must have felt waiting for news.

Thank you


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nice Article.

Anonymous said...

that # - aigns are definitly censorings! nice work you do!

Anonymous said...

WOW! this day is just so fantastic! i am very glad cause it is my favorite day of the year! this is also a great blog thing! my teacher told us to go on this website now we are on it and it is great! yay!(: