Letter to Jack 17th October 2008 + News of a Book Deal.

Oct 17/1918

9th York & Lancs
C Company
12 Platoon I.E.F.

Dear Jack
I have received your paper and a letter. I am pleased to hear that you are going on alright. We have had some big marches since I came back from leave, it as just about knocked me out, and I don’t think we have finished yet, we are still in Ital but on a different front, not far from V. we have never been here before. I have not been in the line yet since I got back, they were just coming out of the trenches when I returned. Last night we stayed a night in a city about as big as Nottingham first time we have been in such a big place. There was plenty of Americans - some had just come out of the line which was only about 7 kilos so you see it is very quite just now. I expect there will be something coming off before long. What do you think of the war do you think it will finish this next summer. Things are dearer up this end the Italians tells us the farer east we get the dearer things are. Write as often as you can and send a paper or two, I hope I see you all again before it is time for another leave.

With best love to you both

from Harry
(I am sending a letter for Ethel)

It's quite clear that Harry has absolutely no idea how long this war will last. His account of marching and being out of the line, ties in with the account in the War Diary. I would think that "V" refers to Venice. The city would be Thiene. Refer to the War Diary, as the marching gets tougher on the next day. BL

Book Deal

I am delighted that Michael O'Mara Books, the London-based publisher, will be publishing a book based on Harry's blog. The contracts were signed this week.

The book, which is provisionally entitled "Letters From the Trenches: A Soldier of the Great War", is set to be published in hardback in April 2009. The aim is to take the material from the various ‘Harry’ blogs (the Battalion War Diary, the maps, photos and other pictures, the letters themselves) and to combine them, with any other relevant material, into a book which will help the reader to understand and appreciate the extraordinary experiences of this ordinary man.

The work is well under way. I hope to be able to deliver the first complete version to the publisher’s editorial and design teams in December.

There is still a great deal of research to do to complete the task. However, I am very keen not to lose the simplicity and directness that seem to have worked so well in the blog. I shall be providing an introduction and commentary to set the letters in context. I can only hope that my efforts at a book will be as successful as Harry’s blog has proved to be.


Hook said...

As it looks, Harry will be in or near the center of the upcoming final Battle of Vittorio Veneto. Let's hope the best

Anonymous said...

Hello Harry:
So glad to hear you are getting on alright. I've landed in England with the 103rd and am now on the way to Bordon. From there we continue on to France. Stop by for a read if you have the chance.


Anonymous said...

Try looking HERE for what's coming up:

HERE for a summary ....

Anonymous said...

It seems Harry doesn´t feel comfortable marching through the landscape and for the situation of the soldiers.
Luckily we now know war will end soon. I hope he´ll come home healthy.

Anonymous said...

Still really enjoying the blog- thanks. Keep sending letters Harry! I would like to hear that you survived the war & all the illness that followed the war!

Kittybriton said...

Chin up, Harry! I don't think the Hun can keep it up too much longer. The only way I can see that they could keep the fight going beyond next summer is if they forge a new alliance.

Anonymous said...

Congradulations on the book: I'll be getting a copy as soon as I can!

And hang in there Harry: we're all praying for your safe return home!

Anonymous said...

I do hope we hear of Harry's fate before the book comes out.

Julie Goucher said...

I am so glad to hear that Harry's story will be published. I'll be getting a copy as soon as available - congratulations.

Anonymous said...

For Bill Lanim: Congratulations on gaining the book contract. Well deserved. Let us know when you will be ready to autograph the first edition.

For G. Tingey: Thanks for the look ahead.

John Meier
Vienna, VA

Anonymous said...

Dear All,

'Phase 4'has been opened via the JW ,Overview of the Italian Campaign in the side menu.

Things have been 'steady' for a while, albeit with c.14000 artillery shells a day during July being fired up in the Asiago sector by the British alone, still great danger for Harry and the boys when in the line.

Open page, go to bottom and click on the 'Ph 4-Things are bubbling' link for some insights.

Anonymous said...

Great news about the book! I shall definitely buy a copy. Congratulations.

Doctor Pion said...

However, I am very keen not to lose the simplicity and directness that seem to have worked so well in the blog.

A suggestion. I've read a few books that achieve that goal by separating the original text from the much more detailed commentary. One key is to use a completely different typeface in addition to physically separating one from the other on adjacent pages. You can read the original historical material straight through or digress into the explanations without having to jump from chapter to chapter.

For example, you could have the War Diary itself (with maps) frame the letters to put them in context ... but always making the letters the prominent part of the story.

Anonymous said...

well done on the book deal, I too shall bye a book, I just love this blog

Anonymous said...

V. is definitely for Vicenza, not Venice. Venice is a series of islands and is remote and out of the way. I spent 10 weeks in Venice and the Venetto Province during grad school so I know the area quite well.

Anonymous said...

It's very exciting that Harry is at last coming up on the cease-fire, though I wonder when the fighting will actually stop for him.

And there would still be uncertainty about whether he gets to go home, with the peace treaty not signed until June next year.

Anonymous said...

Read the preceding posts.

Battle of Veneto, 24th October - Austrian collapse.
Armistice and cease-fire on that front on 4th Novemeber.

Leah J. F. said...

If you get a chance, watch the Canadian film "Paschendaele" staring Paul Gross. It really puts you there, and will give you a taste of what Harry and all the other soldires who fought in WWI went through.
Lest we forget.

Kittybriton said...

I see from the papers this morning that the Italians launched an offensive in the mountains two days ago, but progress is slow.
Stick to it Harry, and may God Himself watch over you.