Letter from Harry to Jack, 19th June 1918

June 19/1918

32507/ 9th Batt
York & Lancs Regt
C Coy 12 platoon
Dear Jack
I hope you are getting on alright. I have received the book and was very pleased with it. I have not received a letter for a long time. things have been a bit rough out here just lately something unusual after beening so quiet. Our Coy was in close support about 200yards behind front line we were not wanted in the front line so we did not have to fire. I can tell you support line is worst than the front. The fight started about 3 oclock in the morning and Johnny Austrian started to come over about 7 oclock. Well he did get a reception I can tell you, them in the front line simply mowed them down and he got no farther than the wire. I went in the front line during the day to have a look when things had quietened down. The prisoners are the poorest lot I have seen and told us they thought that they were going to meet the Italians and where surprised to see our lads in the trenches. it was a big attack and he meant breaking through if he could. The prisoners had plenty of money, all notes and was pleased to to be made prisoners, well the biggest part of them. They were a mixed lot Austrians, Hungarians and a large number of Rumanians. there objective was to get on to the plain but I can tell you he got a good beating especially on our divisional front. I shall be glad to see you all again and I hope you are both keeping in good health. I shall be able to tell you more when I see you. I hope this year sees the finish of the war, but I think that the enemy is more fed up than what we are. I have had a letter from home and pleased to say they are keeping well. Write as often as you can.
With Love to you both
I am putting an Austrian note in I hope you get it.Click on the Images to enlarge.

Anyone any idea what the note would have been worth? BL


Anonymous said...

There was a 2 krown coin:


Its weight was 10g and contained 83.5% of silver. So the value of the note was at least the the value of 8.35g of silver. If you look up the price of silver in Pounds in 1918 you will probably get a measure for the notes worth.

Anonymous said...

Here is an article in english about the ausrian crown:


It seems, that the currency lost a lot of its value during WW1 due to inflation. The consumer prices rose sixteenfold during the war...

Anonymous said...

glad to see Harry seems to be well!

concerning the value of the Austrian money in 1918 the Austrian Mint says on its webpage (http://austrian-mint.at/junior_kaufkraft_6?l=de) that a kilogramme bread did cost 0.57 Kronen, meat was 7.20 Kronen per kilo, and cost for energy was 0.84 Kronen. Wikipedia gives 0.40 Kronen for a tram ticket and between 0.08 and 0.14 Kronen for a newspaper. Inflation apparently started after the war with prices increasing heavily during the 1920s.

Thanks for the blog!

Galagonya Gulova said...

The 2 Korona paper note was in service between 1917 and 1922, its text says (I translated the Hungarian version, but it equals the German text): The Austro-Hungarian Bank pays two Korona legal ore money promptly for anyone’s request at its main institutes in Wien and Budapest
- http://papirpenz.hu/reszletek/11

Its present (!) price is about 1000,- Ft (appr. 4 €)

Couldn’t find any information about its value in 1918 yet, but not giving up.

Anonymous said...

In 1918, a 2-pound loaf of bread was sold for 0.57 Kronen... so you could buy 7 pounds of bread for the 2 Kronen. In 1921, the 2-pound loaf was already sold for 7 Kronen!

I hope this gives you a feeling about what the money was worth...

Greetings from Germany!

Anonymous said...

According to
the Austro-Hungarian Krone was worth about $5.75 US in August 1914. It went thorough a period of devaluation during the war.

M Oneby said...

I found a paper titled "The Currency Problem in Austria" by E.H. Vogel, published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 1921. The first of seven pages is viewable at the following website:


The value of 1 USD is listed for the following dates:
Aug 1918: 5.12 kronen
Dec 1915: 7.85 kronen
Dec 1916: 9.56 kronen
Nov 1918: 15.82 kronen

The paper lists many more post-war values as the krone continued to rapidly depreciate in value. The last listing is 846 kronen on July 23, 1921.

Anonymous said...

Harry mentions in passing that after the war he will be able to say more. Hope that means that he's mentally in good shape - we read so much that so many of the men never spoke about the war afterwards. He sounds chipper - good.

John said...

Very Coooooooooool!!!!

Kittybriton said...

I have to admit that I wasn't previously aware that Roumania was fighting during this war!
It certainly sounds as though the morale of the Austrian forces is flagging.

Nanny (Shirley) said...

Can't help about the currency however I am SO GLAD that Harry is OK - Shirley

Anonymous said...

What a relief to finally hear from Harry. It's good to know that everything's 'going on all right' with him, even though he must have had a tough time lately. It's difficult for any of us to contemplate the things he's experienced being so near the front line.


Anonymous said...

I, too, was anxiously awaiting word of Harry. He was in the very battle in which Edward Brittain, brother of the writer Vera Brittain, was killed. They were even from the same place, Derbyshire. (The Brittains resided in Buxton). I loved Harry's attitude of "we really gave them hell!" Obviously, he was still pumped up from battle!


Anonymous said...

What a great letter, Harry seems really up and wanting to share his feelings, the attitude of the prisoners must have made them all feel positive and hopefull for an ending. Good luck Harry we are all rooting for you.


Anonymous said...

Prices in Austria increased up to 1000% between 1913 and 1918.
Beef (1 Kilogramm)
1913: 1,60-2,20 Kronen
1918: 7,20-16,00 Kronen
1 Egg
1913: 7 Heller (1 Krone=100 Heller)
1918: 51 Heller
Wages (industrial workers)
1913: 80 Heller-1,52 Kronen (p.hr.)
1918: 2,28-2,93 Kronen