Harry, from 1920

William Henry Bonser (Harry) Lamin 1920 onwards.

I have been dreading writing this. Possibly, because I don’t know enough about the man to make a decent job of it. Also, it has to mark the end of the amazing journey that the blog has led me through.

Well, here goes. (Click on the image to enlarge it)

Harry left the army in January 1920 (Note; he was, of course discharged from the Royal Munster Fusiliers - not the York & Lancaster Regiment) and was given a final payment of £61 2s 1d (£61.10) made up of almost £34 back pay and a £15”war gratuity"(an example of the military’s sense of humour, £5 a year for enduring unbelievable conditions), 4 weeks pay for leave (I was sure "furlough" was a U.S. term), ration allowance and a clothing allowance. From this £1 was deducted. Harry was allowed to keep his heavy army greatcoat for the journey home. If he handed it in at a railway station, he would get his £1 back. The £61 2s 1d was paid, by post, in three weekly instalments and was worth about £3,000 in today’s money. note; The paper that  the Demobilization (surely, "Demobilisation" in England in 1920!) Account was printed on has disintegrated. I just did a jigsaw job on the scanner bed and then returned the  pieces to the envelope. BL

As far as I can tell, once Harry got home in January 1920, he picked up where he left off and found employment in a local lace factory.

 Even that is not known with certainty. I have heard that times for the family were “very difficult” in the 1920s. It was a difficult time for the country, there was much unemployment and many ex-servicemen found it difficult to find employment. The promised  “fit country for heroes to live in" just didn’t materialise. There was no welfare state provision. Maybe Jack and Kate were able to help out. Ethel and Harry were, of course, looking after Kate’s daughter, Connie. No doubt Kate would have chipped in to help with that and, equally doubtless, Harry and Ethel would have been grateful for that help.

I'll continue Harry's story later.


Parkylondon said...

It's worse than you thought. I had feeling the £3,000 you mentioned was a tad high but the truth shocked me.

According to the historic inflation calculator at


£61 2s 1d would have the same buying power as 2317.68

After what Harry and all the others went through a truly pitiful sum.

Pte Harry Lamin said...

I got different "conversion rates" from a range of sites. The 50x ratio seemed about average. BL

Bryan Alexander said...

What a dark, sad ending! No country fit for heroes.

Unknown said...

As regards the spellings and the terminology used, its proof that these forms were printed from American sources.