Letter to Jack, September 10th 1919

40843/1st Garr Batt
Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O Box R L9
I.E.F. Italy
Sept 10th
Dear Jack
            Just a line to let you know that I have received your paper and letter.  The explosion you speak of was at the dump we are guarding but it was nothing. it might have been worse I think one Austrian prisoner got killed of course biggest part of the men here belong to A.O.G and have seen no fighting at all so it would be terrible to them.  I dont know when I shall get on leave now as it is stopped for September expect for special leave when a man goes on leave from here he does not return but stops in England.  You can please yourself whether you write for a special leave but whattever you do dont write to this end.  if you could not get any thing from the war office dont write here I would rather wait six months. I expect I shall be home for Christmas.  Write as often as you can and let me know all the news.  Glad to here that you are both keeping in good health.  Ethel address is 19 Mill Street.  I think it is all this time. I will write again soon. 
with Best Love to you both 
If you write for leave tell them that I have only just been transferred to the 1st G RMF as this Batt as seen no fighting at all.  It is twelve months now since last leave.

Well, that's Harry's September leave gone. I've tried, unsuccessfully to find a newspaper report of the explosion. I'll see what I can do next week with Rocco's help. Also I can't recall what A.O.G. stands for. Any ideas? Something that indicates a non-combatant, I'm sure. To Harry a single explosion would hardly have been worth commenting on! 

A.O.G. - I've had the suggestion that it could well stand for the "Army of Occupation of Germany". O.k, I know it's in Italy, but they may be part of one of the non-combatant units raised for the German occupation. BL


Anonymous said...

I found this reference:
Army of Occupation of Germany

Kittybriton said...

Good grief! Leave stopped for September? it's nearly a year since the armistice!

Kimberly said...

I found mention of the explosion on Wikipedia.


Pte Harry Lamin said...

Another explosion, I'm afraid but that is a good reference for the R.M.Fusiliers.

Dave Batty said...

definitely a letter 'G'? not a 'C'?
Army Ordnance Corps (or Group?)..fits since they are guarding an ammo dump after all

colagirl said...

I followed this blog fairly regularly for a while but stopped shortly after Armistice Day--I figured there couldn't be that much more left. Looks like I was wrong. I can't believe Harry's still not home yet!

Here's hoping you can get home soon, Harry.

Roger O'Keeffe said...

I just noticed that although it was a different explosion, it did involve what would subsequently become Harry's battalion.

I followed through the wikipedia link to the general article about the Munsters. The garrison battalions formed towards the end of the war were not intended for active service, and by 1919 they were either a source of men for guard duty, or holding formations for processing people due for demobilisation.

1 Garrison Company was initially mainly made up of old soldiers - many of them probably regulars from the pre-war era - who had seen active service and returned to duty after being wounded, but by late 1919 it was probably rather a ragbag unit.

The regiment, like others whose recruiting areas were the southern part of Ireland, was disbanded in 1922 after the creation of the Irish Free State, and some members of these regiments became the nucleus of the Irish regular army - which is how part-time soldiers like me a half-century later learnt to use words like "jildi" or "chit" in the hope of sounding like real soldiers!