Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to all readers of Harry's blog. It's sad that Harry won't be home for Christmas 1918, to spend time with Willie, Connie and Ethel, back in Ilkeston. At least, the fighting is over and there is a future to look forward to.

May I personally thank you all. This last year has been an amazing and unforgettable experience for me. I look forward to 2009 with eager anticipation. Bill Lamin

Prospects of Home?

Today's (Monday) entry in the Battalion's War Diary records; 'First Dispersal Draft of 55 other ranks left the Battalion for the Concentration Camp at “Tavernelle”.' The term "Concentration Camp" has all sorts of sinister connotations today. I feel that we should take the term literally, to mean that it was a camp where the soldiers, bound for home, were gathered together. Tavernelle is close to Harry's current billets. It's on the main railway line heading towards France, close to Vicenza, about 50 miles (80 Km) West of Venice.

I can confirm that Harry wasn't in that draft and so I'm afraid that he won't be home for Christmas.

The Book.

The book, based on Harry's blog, is complete and, this week was sent to the publishers.

The publication date has been set for April 2nd, but already it's available for pre-order at a significant discount from major booksellers.

It's certainly very exciting for me. There has been much more work to complete it than I ever imagined. The blog needed to be completely reorganised and largely re-written (Not Harry's letters!) A book is, of course, a very different medium. Hopefully, I've captured the spirit and simplicity of the original, using the same material but with a totally fresh approach and a more rigorous application to research. (I can hardly ask readers of the book to check the details for me)

As any cook will tell you, the same ingredients can make many dishes.

It would appear to be available world-wide from Amazon so it does seem to be really happening!

The next project, for the new year, is to prepare a school text book on World War One, using Harry's experiences as a scaffold. The target audience will be 11 to 14 years old. At least then, I'll be on familiar ground.

Letter to Jack, 6th December 1918

Dec 6th 1918

9th Y & L
C Coy
12 Platoon
Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know that I have received your long letter and papers. I am very glad that you visited Kitchen’s and found them alright. He is a decent chap very quite. I hope you got the letter I sent you asking for a pipe as I have broke mine. Ethel tells me what a rum chap Willie was you cant help but laugh when you hear about him. I shall be glad when I see you all again and I hope it will not be long. I am sending you a Christmas card. I hope you get it alright.
Wishing you both a Happy Christmas and New Year.

I'm afraid that there's no sign of the Christmas card. BL