Harry's Home. The last letter, 12th January 1920

Jan 12th/ 1920

19 Mill Street

Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know that I have got home at last for good. I got demobilised on Thursday, and got home at 9 0 clock on Friday morning from Ripon. Ethel thanks you for the 10/- you sent. We are all in good health except for me I have just a bit of a sore throat but I hope it is well in a day or two. the weather is very wet just now. I dont know whether I shall start at Trumans or not, they seem to be quite busy just now. I will write again soon and let you know what I am going to do.

With best Love to you
both      Harry

This letter just couldn't be better if I'd made it up. "I have got home at last for good" says it all. Harry's arrived home at Mill Street, last Friday, 14 months after the war ended and 16 months after his last leave. His prediction of "Thursday at Ripon" proved to be spot on.   This is the first letter that has a postage stamp. (click on the letter for an enlarged image)

"10/-"  means 10 shillings, 50P in today's money, worth about £25 (UKP) today.

We can only imagine the inside of number 19 this last weekend. To see number 19 today, click this link and go to 55 seconds into the film clip. Film link

Me? I'm just overwhelmed with emotion as I "time shift" back to 1920. There's even more emotion as it becomes clear that I've also reached the end of an incredible personal journey.

What happens next? My plan is to spend a few weeks tying up all the loose ends. I'll complete the story of each of the characters, as far as I can, and will publish the photographs and documents that I have that relate to the blog and to Harry and his family. There is a great deal more material than could fit into the book.

Then I just sink back and learn to live without the blog. It won't be easy.

My readers? If you've followed the blog, please tie up your loose end with a comment. Anything will do. Just let me know that a little bit of Harry's life has touched yours. Take a moment to glance at the comments that are, already, appearing while you're adding your own.

If you've put off buying the book until Harry got home, well, there's no excuse now. Signed copy click here. The audio version is on the way soon. I also intend to produce a CD of just the letters, read by myself. The audio publishers are doing a version of the whole book and want a "proper" actor to do it - I can understand that. If you just would like just the letters, watch this space. Email if you would like a sample reading.

To all of you, thank you,

Bill Lamin


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, just had to tell you im sitting here in tears. I will miss not dropping in to see how Harry is getting on,thanks once again for such a brilliant blog.Good luck always in whatever you do, best wishes, Joan.

Jo said...

Thankyou Bill for the work you have done bringing us all Harry's story. I started reading the blog as a distraction whilst doing a distance learning PGCE - I am now in my 2nd year of teaching and can't believe how you managed to do most of this whilst teaching! Thankyou again and hope you now start to enjoy your retirement.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Bill for all your efforts! I started reading in 2007hanging on every letter. I would even have friends occasionally ask, "Hey, how's your World War 1 soldier doing?!" And that pretty much says it all, I did feel like part of a big extended family. Thanks again and I'm so pleased Harry made it back safe!

Unknown said...

I started reading this blog in February of 2008, and I was immediately blown away how I would check every day to see if there was word from Harry, much as if his family must have done 90 years before. This blog has given me a history lesson like no other, and has encouraged me to study The Great War on my own. I think I have learned more about it now than I did when I was in school! I shall check in to see the updates which you've promised, but for now, it's off to buy the book! Best Wishes, Cecilia

Andy Wagner said...

Fabulous to hear that Harry "finally" made it home safe. It's hard to believe he won't be part of my life any longer.
This has been a great story to follow and a great way to present it.
Thanks for all your work.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for your hard work!

Ian Eiloart said...

Amazing piece of historical reportage.

If Harry had been demobbed a year earlier, I'd have been very worried about the sore throat. Thousands of returning troops, and others died of Spanish Flu between June 1918 and April 1919. In fact, Spanish Flu killed more people world wide than enemy action in the war.

Unknown said...

Excellent news! Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Greg said...

Thanks for all your hard work. It really was a labour of love. I've enjoyed following Harry and to be honest couldn't quite believe that he'd made it home when I read it just now.


Anonymous said...

alan.tamblyn said...
Hi Bill,

I’ve just read the last letter and I just wanted to say “Thank You” for sharing this amazing piece of history with us. I’m sure Harry would have been very proud of all you’ve done on his behalf.
I look forward to hearing more about the family and how their lives evolved, hopefully this will available too in due course. I haven’t as yet bought the book, but will be shortly.

I must admit, I cheated early on by searching for Harry on the Commonwealth War Graves site, and I knew Harry wasn’t listed but was still intrigued to know how he fared. It was quite a surprise to learn that his demob has taken so long – these days there would have been uproar if volunteers were kept away from home for so long.

Your blog inspired me to look up my own great-uncle who served from early 1915 for the duration, and after serving in Mesopotamia and the Western Front he returned home in early 1919. Throughout his service his only injury was a minor shrapnel wound, but god only knows what he went through. After a year back in England he left for a new life in America, but was sadly killed two years later in a mining accident in a Pennsylvanian coal mine. Ironic really.

Thanks again and good luck
January 11, 2010

Dianne said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have followed this blog for some time. I'm thrilled that Harry made it home to England in one piece.

I've really enjoyed following Harry's progress. It was a great history lesson with a personal touch. Here in the U.S., our history classes in school tend to gloss over WWI and spent a great deal of time on WWII, so this blog was a nice supplement to what I learned in school growing up.

I'm looking forward to reading about what becomes of all the folks we've met in this journey. And best of luck to you in the future.

Columbia, South Carolina

Cheryl said...

Hi Bill-
Your blog has really been wonderful to follow along with for the past two years.
Harry's life has certainly touched mine, thank you for taking on this wonderful project.
It has made me much more interested in the daily lives of people in my family tree. Thank you for that.

smlg.ca said...

Congratulations on the completion of this wonderful project. I've been following the blog for a while, and am happy to read that he made it home. Thank you for doing this.

Toronto, Canada

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill,

I followed this blog since X-mas 2007.

I checked this blog nearly every day to find out how Harrys was doing. I translated it for my parents, they unfortunately do not speak/ understnad enough English.

Force's postal service is an inestimable source for historians and even more a piece of heaven for family members.

We experienced this myself when my father had to join KFOR and SFOR in the 1990s.

We're so glad Harry made his way home. We were starting to cra when we read the good news today.

You've done an amazing job so far and I must say that we're looking forward to see what becomes of Harry and his family.

indra + family
Hilden, Germany

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss checking on Harry every week to see what was going on. It was entertaining learning of the past and how things were. Thank you for posting this.

sdsykes said...

Good for Harry!

Let us know what became of them.

And... thanks to you Bill!

Johann said...

Thanks for all your hard work Bill - an excellent idea for a blog and an amazing journey too. Now I really must buy the book.

All the best,

Johann Tasker

Alan Bailward said...

Fantastic and very enjoyable. I've posted my few quick thoughts over at http://ufies.org/archives/2010/01/11/ww1-experiences-of-an-english-soldier-the-last-letter.html

Short story though is thank you for the fantastic look into a world that none of us will ever (hopefully) know and is fantastic and fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Thank You for sharing this amazing journey with us. It's a relief that Harry got home safe after all this time!


Vireya said...

Thank you, Bill. It's been a fascinating journey. I'm also amazed that Harry didn't get home until such a long time after the "end" of the war.

Happy retirement to you.

Unknown said...

Bill, I want to thank you for this look back in history. A look back at your own personal family history. It was evident from the first day I started reading in 2006 that this was a labour of love and deep devotion. I will certainly buy the book now and keep an eye open for the final posts tying up the loose ends. Perhaps the best Blog on the Net and a #1 account of an incredible journey.

Thanks again

Michael MacIsaac
Inverness, Nova Scotia

Helene said...

Thank you Bill for the wonderful account of your grandfathers journey. We all are glad to hear that Harry made it home safe. Looking forward to the last few blogs that will tie up loose ends.
Congratulations from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much, I shared this with the children here in Stratford (Canada) in history class, I have followed the blog for quite a while!! While it is sad it is finished, so happy Harry made it home safely. Thank you so much for sharing it was wonderful, take care.

Suelle said...

This has been one of the most unique ideas for a blog I have ever seen. It was just like being a part of your family back during the war. Thank you so much for doing this, it was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I will miss all of you! Thanks for sharing all of this with me. Are you sure you don't have any other relatives with letters...diaries...pictures of their cats...anything?
Good blessings to you and yours! Mecha

Mrs. Johnson, Teacher-Librarian said...

How wonderful to read this final letter bearing good news, and what a relief to know Harry made it home at last. I'm looking forward to learning anything more about him and his family that you can share with us. Thank-you, Bill, for creating this Blog (the best use of a blog format I've ever heard of!) and giving us a very personal view into an ordinary soldier's experiences during a momentous period of history.
~ Lesley in Canada

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey with us. The Internet has made the physical topology and related barriers mostly irrelevant (I'm posting from South Australia).

Anonymous said...

At last! I wonder how much warning Ethel and Willie had before Harry actually showed up.... were they waiting at the train station as he got off, or did he just knock on the door? There were probably parades and such after the war ended, but did any of the neighbors even notice this lone man walking home over a year later? It really makes me wish we had Harry's letters to Ethel to fill things out, but I also understand why she'd destroyed them.
I have a nephew on his second tour of Afghanistan; considering the family reactions during his leaves or his homecoming from the first tour, I can imagine Ethel and Willie's reactions to Harry's homecoming: Ethel would probably be quietly ecstatic, making many moments to look at him, touch him, just repeatedly comfirming that yes, he IS really home. Willie would most likely be shy, not knowing who this stranger was! Harry would probably prefer to spend quiet time with his family: he'll need time to readjust to civilian life.
Well done, Pvt. Lamin!
-Gustav's great-granddaughter

Mr Murray said...

For you Bill, your family and all those who support this project - a hearty thanks for bringing Harry home! This is a great demonstration of a creative, educational and practical use of contemporary technology to bring history to life.

I was elated to see this post.

It also makes me take a moment to think of those who sacrified life and limb in war past and present. Having Harry home is certainly symbolic of how much better peace is than conflict.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for Harry yet sad for me. I would check on a daily basis to see how he was faring. I was always afraid there would be the dreaded "official word" of his death. It's pretty amazing how much I cared what happened to this man who I never met and sadly never will. You've brought him alive again. Thanks for all your labor.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that I have really enjoyed following the story and I am pleased with the happy ending!
Good luck with the book.

Nanny (Shirley) said...

So wonderful to know that Harry is finally home! Thanks to you Bill for this true labor of love. I look forward to now being able to read the book (yes - I hid it so I would not be tempted). I look forward to finding out more about all the characters and what happened to them in their lives.

Again, thanks Bill for this amazing personal insight into a part of history that is being forgotten.


Anonymous said...

I knew Harry made it home in one piece because I bought the book and couldn't resist reading it to the end. Wherever he is, I hope he's 'going on all right' and I know he'd be very proud of you Bill. Thank you so much for letting us share in Harry's story. I'm going to miss you Harry.


Anonymous said...

Amazing that poor Harry was one of the soldiers who had to stay on active service for 14 months after the war ended!! Good for us I suppose, as it extended our enjoyment following his exploits.

Perhaps you can put out an epilogue of Harry's life 'post service'. Obviously not month by month, but a summary of his working life and retirement plus that of the other family members we have come to know.

Thank you Bill, it has been a most eye opening experience.

Icarus said...

Incredibly for me, after not paying a visit for some time, I come in to find the last letter of the whole saga dated 90 years ago today!
You have performed a rare, valuable service in this endeavour, which must be so hard for you to stop.
You deserve a rest, but I agree with the previous comment suggesting a brief description of how Haary's life progressed in Civvy Street.

David M said...

This has been a most wonderful journey.

Thank you for taking us along.

Unknown said...


I can't believe it's the end. I have followed this story from the beginning and I tried so hard to try to find out what happened before you told us but I never could. LOL What a void this will leave to so many of us. I can't wait to read the completed stories of the characters. Thanks so much for sharing a part of your life with us.

Anonymous said...

I admit that I couldn't resist and read to the end of the book, but was amazed how emotional it was for me to read his last letter, it really felt like he was part of my family. Many many thanks for your wonderful blog, Im look forward to reading the tying up of loose ends, hopefully it will wean me off, I know it will be hard not to be checking all the time. Once again thank you for all the work you have done for us.

Kind regards, happy retirement


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill (and Harry... I feel I must say hi to him too),
thanks so much for this great experience.
I've been following the blog for a long time now, and I kept hoping for this letter. I didn't want to know the end ahead of time, and even towards the end, there was always a remote chance that it would not conclude on a happy note.

I am a bit sad that I won't have Harry's letters to wait for, but at least we'll have a couple of more weeks of tying loose ends. I can now finally go ahead and read the whole story.
Thanks again!

Serge in Toronto, Canada.

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing Harry's life with the world! I was relieved to know that he survived the war, but it was also interesting to learn about how the demobilization process occurred after the Armistice. I was surprise to see how long it took Harry to come home, and that aspect of the war tends to not be covered in much depth.

Good luck to you, Bill, in your retirement and future endeavors. I will miss following your blog, but it ends on a positive note. It's taught me so much about the human aspect of the war, and I hope that I will see more blogs like this in the future:)

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing Harry's experience with the world. It's been an amazing ride and I'm glad he made it home safe. This has been an educational and moving experience. Best of luck to your future endeavors!

David in Canada said...

Hi Bill,

Thank you for the blog and the letters. I've been following since long before the war ended, and as my own father was a soldier in WWII, I've signed on to your blog every day in hopes of another letter that found Harry safe and sound. This is without a doubt the best site on the internet, period.

Anonymous said...

This tiny thread of history has woven a tale that has stretched across the globe. It was such a relief to know that Harry was finally safely home. I will miss my daily visits to the blog. I cannot imagine how you must feel Bill, now that it has come to its conclusion. Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication in sharing this true story with us.
You have indeed "made a difference" in the lives of many people. Thanks again. Jan from Australia.

Mister Sill said...

Hurray! A bittersweet ending. I am finally at ease knowing Harry has returned home. It occurred to me today that I have been a long time follower and nervous every time I saw that you had a new post. On the other hand, I am saddened that this has come to an end.

Thank you so much for sharing Harry's journey with all of us. It has been an amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

I really appreciate sharing Harrys experience with me in a way that made WW2 so personal and so much better to understand.

Just an idea: Maybe from time to time, it would be great to hear "news from harry" about what happened to him after the war.
Did he find a job?
How did he deal with his family?
Could he get resocialised in his daily live?
How did he deal with beeing apart as a soldier for so many years?

Regards from Berlin / Germany,

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill
Thank you so much for doing this brilliant blog - I shall miss looking every day to see if there was any news of Harry.

I will certainly look forward to the stories of each of the characters when you complete their histories.

At last I can read the book that has sat on the side table against my chair since it was published - it has been dusted regularly but not opened!!

Kind regards


cparishjr said...

All I can say is "Well Done!"


Felna said...

I know a lot have said it all already, but thankyou again for sharing these letters. Like many I've been following this blog and Harry's fortunes.

Thankyou also for directing me to Dieter Finzen and his blog which does the same for the other side - it has been most enlightening.

Anonymous said...

What a happy letter and such a happy conclusion. I can't wait for the epilogue with what Harry ended up doing, if he was able to and wanted to return to Trumans or if he found some other occupation. I recall he said he never wanted to be a cook after doing so for such a long time in Italy. So I'm sure he didn't do that if there wasn't an opening at his old place.

Thank you for providing this insight into a war often passed over very lightly in our United States school systems. Why, I don't know. It was a very important period of history. My grandfather fought in this war too.

I was happy to find several fiction authors devote novels and series of novels to this war and have fleshed out my understanding by reading these well researched volumes.

Thank you again. Can't wait to read how all the loose ends of your family get tied up.


Anonymous said...

I’m delighted Harry is safely home at last, although I will miss following his story too. Please do let us know how he and his family fared in the following years. I hope they were many and happy. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s story and best wishes to you.

Felicia said...

What an amazing labor of love this blog must have been for you! I'm relieved to know that Harry finally made it home and will have a growing family (including an amazing grandson) to look forward to in the coming years.

Thank you for sharing. All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the blog quietly, never posted a comment but I am glad he has made it home safely and lived a normal and happy life after his experiences. Thanks Bill for sharing this.
Devon UK

Anonymous said...

So glad that Harry is home at last.
I shall miss checking up on him, and I hope life was good to him back in England.
NOW I can go and buy the book. I would have been too tempted to peak at the end, and I've really enjoyed reading it this way first.
Thank you Bill.
Anne Jones. UK

Dynamite XI said...

Hi Bill,

This was a wonderful story, and I'm happy that it reached such a good conclusion for Harry. Like many other readers, I will be sad to see it go, and I'll certainly miss seeing new entries appear in my RSS feed list from day to day.

All the best to you and yours.

San Angelo, Texas

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sir.
This has been a pleasure AND a privilege.
Thomas Maher
St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Don't stop here! I want to know what happened to him after the war - where did he find work? When were his children born, and under what circumstances? Where did he die, and how? The war letters are a wonderful start; surely he had a long life ahead.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing these for these last few years. A wonderful tribute.

Roger O'Keeffe said...

I'd already read the book to the end (the temptation to finish it was irresistible!), but still wanted to check in from time to time to know if he is home yet. The "here and now 90 years on" is still a powerful emotional draw.

I'm feeling a strange emptiness now, an anti-climax. What must it have been like for Harry and all his comrades, when they finally made it home? They must have felt pretty drained, and wondered what all the preceding years of hardship were for: was it worth it? Probably nostalgia for their mates, both for those that didn't make it, and for those that did survive, but most of whom they would rarely if ever see again.

Most accounts indicate that the survivors rarely said much to their families about "what it was like" - both because they wanted to shelter their families from the worst and because words couldn't adequately describe it. For many years it was only among their peers that they would open up and talk about their experiences to those who could understand.

A marvellous achievement, Bill, and a great memorial to an ordinary chap who just did what was expected of him.

And now it's time for me to head back to the Somme in early 1917, just opposite the British positions on the Ancre, where Dieter has had a more than ample baptism of fire but still has so much to go through.

colagirl said...

He's home! He's home! He's actually home!

I can't believe it! I'm actually tearing up a bit as I sit here....

What a wonderful, wonderful journey. Thank you so much for posting this blog and letting us share Harry's life experiences. I wish you (and Harry) all the best...

Illinois, USA

Kittybriton said...

Welcome Home Harry. I'm so glad to read that you're home at long last after all you've been through. And for standing up to the Kaiser, thank you.

Endeavourer said...

I kept "behind" with the book until late 2009 when I read to the end and was relieved to find Harry's military career was soon to end. I feel privileged to haved shared in a small part of your adventure, Bill, in the trip to Flanders in May 2008. My granddad served in the Sherwood Foresters from 1916, he went 'over the top' twice, and though he survived the Great War his life was badly damaged by it. He lived till my teens and Harry's blog has helped me understand his personal experiences with great pride - Many Thanks!


Sheila said...

I can imagine how excited Harry's family were to have him home. My earliest memory is of my father returning from World War 11. He just walked into the house. I am told that the telegram announcing his arrival was delivered the following day! Although the family knew he was on his way, they didn't know which day he would come. I wonder if Harry's family were in the same situation. I look forward to finding out what the future held for the Lamin family.

Two Shorten the Road said...

I've really enjoyed your blog, and will miss checking in with Harry's letters.

Anonymous said...

"Say it ain't so." I began following the blog when I assigned it to a classroom of community college history students and while they are now long finished with the class, subsequent classes have also followed Harry's journey through World War I. I can remember how excited we were to find out that he survived the war--It has been a joy and pleasure to follow along. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

Simon said...

Many thanks for the interview today. Really interesting experience.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing this blog. Now to buy the book!

North Yorkshire

elhaf said...

Hadn't checked in in a while, and now just in time I came back. Congrats to Harry for making it home at last.

Anonymous said...

Woo Hoo! Harry made it through.

Having young kids myself I can't even begin to imagine what the release was like for him as he held his family for the first time.

Bill, sincerely, thank you for your investment in time and humanity through this journey. Lest others forget...


Tim Douglass said...

Wow! I've been following Harry's story since about the second page so it is going to be a bit of a shock to the system to not have any new letters to look forward to.

You are to be commended, Bill, for the way you have honored Harry and also all the others who fought for their countries in the great war.

Unknown said...

I, like alot of people checked to see if there was any new letters every morning before I went to work. My feeings are torn between happiness that Bill made it home safe and sadness that his story is over. I truly enjoyed following his story and will miss reading about his experiences. Thank You for sharing this part of your life and legacy.

Gloria Reading said...

Thank you for your fine work. I've enjoyed every word. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Good post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

Elizabeth said...

I cried! I am so glad that Harry is safely home at long last.
What happened next? I want know more about the family!
Please give us at least a potted history of the rest of Harry's hopefully long life.

Jason R said...

An amazing journey. Yes, you could not have made up a better ending. I like how short and to the point it is.

Thank you for posting this amazing project. Doing it in real-time was a wonderful idea.

Shannan said...

This was an amazing blog and I have so enjoyed following Harry's journey. Thank you so much for all you have done. It is much appreciated.

Gerri Patrick said...

Three cheers for Harry and three cheers for you, Bill. Thank you for sharing Harry's amazing story with us.

Sarah, Doulcet and Oksana said...

We are students from Lycée Lebrun in Coutances (France) who interviewed you last Friday.
We want to thank you a lot for your time and for your interesting and complete answers. It was a very good experience for us.
Your blog is amazing, it's a very good idea.

Thanks again,
Sarah, Doulcet & Oksana.

Ophélie said...

Hello, I'm a student from a French school who interviewed you last week.
I thank you for this moment.
I think it's a very good idea to make a blog about this, I'm very interested in this. Thanks from
a French student.

Captain X Hook said...

hello Mr Lamin, I'm Simon a french high school student. During the interview I'm sorry I wasn't very clear. I prefer writing a comment. Thanks for all :D

Anonymous said...

Just a little comment from a pupil of Lebrun.
Your blog is very interesting and I have learnt many things thanks to this blog.
I would like to thank you very sincerely for your patience when you told to us on Harry Lamin and the WW1.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Bill. We are the French purpils, Florina and Anais, who interviewed you last week. Thanks a lot for this time whith you. Your blog is fantasic, and it's a fabulous idea.

Thanks, Florina & Anais.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Lamin,
We are Aline and Clémence, students of 1L2.
We want to thank you for your patience and your welcome. Your blog is very interesting and we hope you will successed for your futures projects.

Captain Eliott Albator said...

Hey Bill! It's Eliott! Do you remenber me? Well, thanks for your blog, it's fabulous and I learn a lot with it. Bye, see you soon! =)

Anonymous said...

Dear Bill, to my mind it's really important to thank you, because it's a very fascinating thing to study the subject of WW1 with a real testimony like I can do with my school (I am on the French class who made an interview with you). Thank to share this with we.

Marina said...

Mister Lamin,
To start, thank you for your interview.
I think your project is very interesting not to forget the people who took part in World War 1 and not to forget their courage.

Your project is admirable.

best regards from Marina.

Anonymous said...

I'm a student from "Lycée Lebrun" in Coutances (France). Last Friday, my class interviewed you. I want to thank you for your time, and congratulations on your blog, that is a good idea.


Marion said...

hello Mr Lamin !!
Just a comment to tell you thanks for all. You can be proud of your project because your blog is really interesting and even if your grand-father was shy i'm sure he would be very happy to know his granson doesn't forget his experience and contributes to inform about what happened.
bye and good luck for the futur

Laura and Jeanne said...

Hello M. Lamin. It's Laura and Jeanne , students of 1L2 in Lycée Lebrun in France.

Thanks for having accepted and taking time for the interview of our class. Your blog is very interesting and unusual. We're happy to know that for your Grandparents it was a Happy end. We hope that the story of your grandfather is going to be used for a documentary. We wish you good luck for the future.


Pauline said...

Hello,Bill!! I'm a Lebrun High School student, I have studied your blog and your grandfather's letters. I appreciated very much the video conversation, it was very interesting for me. I hope your blog will carry on having a lot of success.
Thank you very much !!!!

MarcyT said...

When I first started reading, very soon after you started posting, I was desperate to know if Harry made it home. I didn't want to go through weeks of letters to find out he died in 1917 or something. When I got the book and found he survived, I was so pleased! but I'm also glad that I went through the weeks of letters because it's been a fantastic experience. Harry wasn't famous, he didn't become a politician or campaigner, he was just one of many soldiers who endured an awful event. Despite his modest status, to me he really is a hero. Thank you Bill and thank you Harry.

AG said...

Just back from holiday to find that Harry is home at last; squealed with glee, though now I wonder what I'll do without his semi-regular letters! (I wonder if Ethel missed the letters sometimes too, and read them in odd moments? It can be so lovely to look back on such things after it's all ended happily, can't it.) Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for publishing these -- for giving your faithful readers a glass through which to look back on the sacrifices of the Great War, and for being such a faithful curator of these precious family documents. All the best to you and yours, and I'll raise a glass this evening in Harry's memory.

Sgt Sam Avery said...

Hello Harry:
Glad to hear you're finally home. Long business getting back there, what? As for me, still in France and making my way to the coast at a snail pace. Stop by for a read when you can.


PS. Bill, I know how you must feel at the journey's end. I'm dreading it myself, except for the fact that my own book project is still in the works as a distraction from the emotion of it all being "over." Best of luck with the loose ends.


Dieter Finzen said...


Thank you so much for doing this brilliant blog – besides providing great information about the individual perspective of war, your blog was THE inspiration for future “historical blogs” to come.

Eventhough I have just started my own historical blog, I can tell how much effort you must have put into this unique project!

All the best - you wrote internet history for sure!

Anonymous said...

Harry and Bill,

Thank you. Both of you. And all your comrades - soldiers and teachers and just plain humans - who somehow help to make us all more human by sharing glimpses into your lives.

I'm planning to donate some blood in your honor, Harry (I haven't much money, but perhaps that is more valuable....) and then make a trip to the San Francisco, California USA WWI veterans memorial and the Presidio cemetery.... as a thank you to both of you and all your contemporaries.

Thank you, Bill, for helping this history to come alive, and to help us to share the journey with Harry and his mates all these months. This is what the passing on of History really ought to be....

My parish Church has a chalice donated at Christmas 1919 as a prayer that there will never again be another war of this magnitude.... and I will think of & pray for you both whenever it is used...


Linda H-F,
San Francisco, CA

Robin in Ohio said...

Thanks for your hard work on this blog. I've enjoyed it very much and am pleased to hear that Harry arrived home safely.

Please let us know more about Harry and his family. What happened after he returned from the war?

Robin in Ohio

Sarah and Nick said...

Wow, where to start. I began reading your blog after I read an article on CNN. I am currently deployed to Iraq and have been keeping a journal of my day to day activities...With email and SKYPE to keep connected to family there is no need to "write" home. The journal will help me pass my "memories" for my son and hopefully someday grandchildren to enjoy. I will be headed home in June to be with my family after a 6 month tour...I can't imagine what it would have been like for Harry after 16 months without leave. He is a true hero and I thank you for your dedication to his memory. May God bless you and your family.

Camp Victory, Iraq

Joel said...

I'm a little bit late in reading this; clearly I've fallen behind in checking in with Harry. But I want to add my thanks to the chorus above. I've immensely enjoyed Harry's letters and will plan to buy the book as well. I'll leave the link in my sidebar so others can catch up.

Thanks for a wonderful window into the War to End All Wars!

Mimi said...

Thank you for letting us share in Harry's life through the war. It was very moving to read his personal letters.