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


Nicolai said...

I was just wondering if you have read this book:


A perpective from "the other side".

Anonymous said...

I found "Under Fire" by Henri Barbusse, gave a phenomenal insight into what it was like to be french soldier in the first World War. Remarkably, it was published in 1916 when you might have thought it would be censored as it is so anti war. I wonder if such a book could have been published at that time in England. I'm afraid I don't read french, but if you do, it is called "Le Feu".
Thank you for posting this blog. It is fascinating and a great memorial to your grndfather.
Louise Lewis (also just retired and enjoying all the benefits of the freedom pass, as I'm sure you will when you return to England.)

Unknown said...

Vera Brittain's _Testament of Youth_ is an excellent description of what women went through.

Anonymous said...

"The Wars" by Timothy Findlay is an excellent Canadian perspective on WWI. It is one of my favourites and deals with a young man's experiences. I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

I thought The First Casualty was full of really old hackneyed cliches, you would be much better off reading Sassoon's The Complete Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man or William, an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton, both books which were written by people who were really there. Another really good read was Bringing Uncle Albert Home by David P. Whithorn which is about the journey the author made in discovering about his Uncle who died in the First World War.

Anonymous said...

IDBAPO. I think the "I" is for Italian I have no Idea what the "D" stands for. Maybe "Defense"
Matt Wilson

Anonymous said...

Leave in war time is a terrible hard thing for some people. Your mind is constantly thinking about your friends and collegues, and whats happened in the past.
You try to relax and eventually as you start to clear your mind, the thought of returning comes upon you, If you have had a bad war and a good leave there is a terrible struggle to go back

Anonymous said...

Could the IDBAPO stand for;
Italian Detatchment British Army Post Office?

Anonymous said...

I've found two website of possible interest; they're about Gallipoli, but they might help shed a tiny bit more light on the era:



Anonymous said...

I'm doing a project for school on this guy and i need 5 facts about his family and thier history. HELP!