Letters to Kate and Jack

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's understandable, I imagine, but Harry sounds so very lonely for his family. Almost as if, by merely writing each of thier names, he can somehow bring them closer. Most people today, with constant contact possible through cell phones and email, will find it hard to relate to his being so removed from his loved ones.

But for those who want to get a bit of a feel for Harry's isolation: try, for just one week!, not to have ANY cellphone, text messaging, email, facebook/myspace, or internet contact with your own friends and family.

-Gustav's great-granddaughter

5:42 PM

Blogger Antisthenese said...

Very interesting and educational idea .

will be checking Harry's world more often . Sad that it was called the 'great war' and 'the war to end all wars' and after all these years we now have 20 year old present day soldier/bloggers contacting this blog from Iraq............

7:21 PM

Anonymous jayjay said...

What an inspirational idea to blog your grandfather's war diary. I only discovered it today and avidly look forward to future blog entries. Thank you.

6:22 AM

Blogger hildA said...

Indeed, the loneliness and emptiness must have been unbearable at times. The relatives home not quite realizing the terrible conditions these young men were experiencing. So tragic, such a waste.

12:32 PM

Blogger DanN said...

This is a fantastic insight to what it was like during the first World War. Thanks for these posts.

Is there any possibility of you scanning the letters as well as a typed manuscript in the future?


10:33 PM

Blogger toby said...

I had two great-uncles who survived the First World War. One was awarded France's Croix de Guerre as a stretcher bearer. These letters are interesting to read as they never talked about their experiences.

Although, Harry also seems determined to avoid writing about the horrors we know he must have witnessed.

It is shameful that our society is still governed by donkeys who are so careless with the lives of others.

11:45 AM

Anonymous Ashley Pomeroy said...

I wonder how he felt about being in Italy. I assume that, by late 1917, he was used to being moved about, and that Italy must have seemed like just another military camp, although one with intact countryside and villages rather than shelled wastelands. I don't know how common it was for people of Harry's background to go on continental holidays, if he ever expected to travel so far.

He doesn't seem to mention his fellow soldiers very often - perhaps he was worried about getting attached to people he might not know for very long.

12:41 PM

Blogger community&leisure said...

What a fantastic way of bringing the horror of war into the modern world. It should be part of the cirriculum so all school children future prime ministers, politicians etc can read what was like from someone actually there living it day by day. Maybe it will make people think before sending someone else's children off to war.

2:09 PM

Blogger ROGUE GUNNER said...

What a wonderful and very humbling project, thank you.

"We will remember them"

2:09 PM

Anonymous Smudger said...

How I envy you. My father served as an infantryman in France and Flanders from March 1915 to Jan 1918 and in the 28 years that I lived with him he mentioned his experience only once when as a little boy I asked him if it hurt when he was wounded on the Somme. his reply was "not much" Later as an adult and exserviceman myself I respected his silence on the subject.
Since then I have spent many hours looking at War diaries and records at Kew but can only share his experiences through the writings of others so Harry's letters are very welcome.
Thank you
Malcolm C Smith.

5:23 PM

Anonymous Naomi said...

January 5th 2008. Just heard about this Blog on Sky News in Israel. What a wonderful way to record history and more important to pass it on. How many of us finding old letters from our dead relatives just burn them. Do we ourselves pass on our personal history to our children & grandchildren!! Mores the pity that this kind of thing usually gets lost. Congratualions to Harry's grandson.

7:15 AM

Anonymous Paolo said...

Great Blog. I have two grand parents who fought WWI. On the father side my grandpa was austrian, on the mother side my grandpa was italian. So they faught one against the other. That war was really a stupid thing.

9:23 PM

Blogger haciendo click said...

Una feliz idea.

8:51 PM

Blogger Anocsanamun said...

WOw - I am sure he is so proud of you for doing this - BRAVO...

9:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing Harry's letters to us all. It is a great insight into what he and many other soldiers went through. I hope he comes out of it all ok. War is such a terrible thing, it seems the people in power will never learn from history. What will fighting solve?

10:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really found these letters so poignant. The extremeties are not the same, but I have been away from home the last few years, travelling, and these letters reminded me of how closely we regard our friends and parents back home. I can sort of empathise here even if the our experiences are vastly different and his day-to-day life far more traumatic.

I only came across this blog because of Reuters and I'm so glad I decided to read some of the entries. I will most definitely read from the beginning when I have time to dedicate to this extraordinary blog.

9:00 AM

Blogger felipemaia said...

Great blog!!! Awesome!
I am brazilian and my grandfather fought in WW2, that´s really nice the work you´re doing!!
I enjoy reading it!

12:48 PM

Anonymous WWWMUSCLE said...


3:38 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A brilliant idea. Like 1000s of others I am now rooted, and like Harry expectantly awaiting the next letter from home, I am expectantly awaiting the next piece of his history.
What I can't help thinking though, that 90 years later , mankind is still killing & being killed, and whilst we walk this earth, we will NEVER be at peace with each other.The deep irony is probably 1000s if not millions of soldiers have probably felt the same over these last 90 years too !

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