Special Post from BL, 24th July 2008

A physicsist who thinks outside the box said... I visit your blog by your good domain and content you may find My blog
interesting. So please Click Here To Read My Blog. Best wishes!
August 06, 2008

Tiago said... I'll subscribe all of the above statements. Although my visits have been more sporadic, I did enjoy reading most of the correspondence In reading sessions. Have you considered published in book format? By explaining part of the journey that has led you to this point, it would be a great tribute.
Best regards, may retirement bring you the best!
/TiagoAugust 07, 2008
A book is certainly on the way. Final negotiations are taking place. Great news! BL
Anonymous said...When in NZ, check out the army museum in Waiouru if you can (near the centre of the North Island). Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) in Wellington is worth a look too.

Do some bushwalking while you're here as well if you can. There's several places in Wellington you can wander around that only take a couple of hours.
Scott.July 28, 2008

Roger O'Keeffe said...
Congratulations, and have a ball. I get the feeling that the teaching profession has lost a good 'un.
Just turned 60 myself a few weeks ago, and wondering when to pull the plug between now and 65. Tough call, but for the moment I'm still enjoying myself.
July 27, 2008
I decided that it was the right time - just because I WAS still enjoying it and felt that I was still good at the job. Then, the trip came about.... a "no brainer" as they say! BL

mad4books said...I'll second what everyone has said--and if you want the best barbecue in Texas, your trip to Harold's Barbecue in Abilene (about four hours west of Dallas) will be OUR TREAT!Merry retirement!
July 27, 2008

Anonymous said...Bon Voyage! I hope that your trip goes wonderfully well. I just got back after a short three day jaunt and thought "I wonder if Harry wrote while I was gone?"
He grows on one!Congratulations!
July 27, 2008

Blogger Dana D said...Congrats! Happy and safe travels to you!
July 27, 2008

Anonymous said...Congratulations on your retirement --- I'm sure the school will miss you greatly, you must have been a wonderful teacher: anyone who can hold the interest of the whole world must've found a single classroom easy!
July 26, 200

Thank you all for the great comments!
kevinyon said...Good luck on your retirement and safe travels.
I have really enjoyed the blog. In September I am going to be visiting Kansas City and intend on visiting the World War I exhibit at The Liberty Museum.
July 25, 2008

Jim Ahrens in Minneapolis, MN USA said...Congratulations! And thank you for your work here in bringing the Great War to life for all of us. While I've been a student of that particular historical tragedy for the last twenty years, I've never felt so personally connected. Thank you a thousand times!
July 25, 2008

Anonymous said...Congratulations from Indianapolis, Indiana! May you have a wonderful and blessed retirement.
July 25, 2008

Blogger Anne-Marie said...Congratulations on your retirement, and all the best during your travels. I'll be looking forward to your posts.
July 25, 2008

Blogger Will said...Congratulations. Enjoy your trip.
July 25, 2008

Blogger Ken said...Bill,Congratulations on your retirement! I wish you the best.
July 25, 2008

Fredrik Mellem said...Congratulations. Both with your retirement and with one of the most interesting blogs I read.
July 25, 2008

Blogger Bill said...Congratulations, Mr. Lamin, on your new life. I'm in education myself, so I know your attachment. Best wishes in the future.
July 26, 2008

Congrats and happy retirement!Enjoy your trip, it sounds well deserved!
July 24, 2008

Blogger Nanny (Shirley) said...Congrats on your retirement and your dedication to teaching for the past 26 years. I too check your blog everyday to see if there is a letter from Harry! Enjoy your well deserved world trip and I look forward to Harry's letters and pray he (and you) will both return home safely.
July 24, 2008

Blogger Beck said...Congrats! Have a great time. We will still be following along.
July 24, 2008

Anonymous said...
enjoy your retirement.you've earned it. I log on at 1am, every morning hoping there's a new letter.
tony. manchester.
July 25, 2008

corin91 said...I'll ditto what Jared said -- if you're traveling near the Boston area I hope there might be an opportunity to say Hello :)
July 25, 2008

Anonymous said...Have a great trip, especially down under to Tonga NZ and OZ. Congrats on your retirement and the blog, its been great to follow WW1 from the view of an individaul soldiers view and not just the numbers that history usually deals with. July 25, 2008

Blogger Connie said...How wonderful! Congratulations on your retirement and your well deserved trip. It sounds very exciting. If you are in the Pacific Northwest and planning to be near Portland Oregon I hope you contact me. I have a great guest room and you would certainly be welcome. As others have said I start the day by checking to see if "I" have a letter!Thank you for sharing them and making this part of history so real and personal.
Most sincerely, ConnieJuly 25, 2008

nononsensegrammytree said...Have a great trip!Glad to hear you will keep the blog going.July 25, 2008

Anonymous said...Marvelous! have a great time and a long and happy retirement.
Kind regards
Linda July 25, 2008

Jo Smith said...Congratulations on your commitment to teaching and enjoy the retirement & world trip!
July 24, 2008

Blogger Jared said...Where in the States are you going? If you are going to be in the Boston area I would like to meet up and have a drink or coffee if possible.
July 24, 2008
Thanks Jared, I'm only in L.A. for this weekend. If you want to nip down......

Blogger Scott said...Congratulations! And Bon Voyage!
July 24, 2008

Blogger John said...Congratulations on your retirement. I have thoroughly the blog for the last several months since I discovered it. I anxiously check my RSS reader every morning hoping for a post. History is a passion of mine and I think there is no better way to learn about history than from the people who were actually there. Your blog is an asset to anyone interested in history.
I pray for a safe journey for you on your much deserved trip.
Thank you again for the blog.-John Nall
July 24, 2008

Blogger erathwomen said...Congratulations! I hope you have a wonderful trip. How your students will miss you and how proud your grandad would be!! If you're coming to Texas, I'd love to meet you. I'm sure the Western Front Association here would love to meet you too!All best,
July 24, 2008
Thank you Marcy. I'd love to talk to your group but only a short visit to L.A. Next time?
Anonymous Mary T. said...Congratulations - enjoy yourself! I do look forward to keeping up with news from Italy though!
July 24, 2008

Anonymous said...
Congratulations on your retirement! Best Wishes for new adventures!
Cecilia in Michigan
July 24, 2008

Blogger John said...Congratulations on your retirement. Have a wonderful trip! Thanks for continuing the blog. I start each day checking to see if I have a letter from Harry.
July 24, 2008

Blogger John said...Congratulations on your retirement. Have a wonderful trip! Thanks for continuing the blog. I start each day checking to see if I have a letter from Harry.July 24, 2008

Anonymous said...Have a great retirement. The trip sounds like something you have always wanted to do. Congrats on the great career. Your students will no doubt miss someone with such great talents.
July 24, 2008

Blogger Autolycus said...Congratulations and all good wishes for a long and happy retirement: enjoy that trip!
July 24, 2008

Anonymous lom said...Enjoy you holiday and your retirement
July 24, 2008

Anonymous said...Enjoy your travels and thank you so much for keeping us all up to date on Harry's trials and tribulations.
Bon voyage!!!!
July 24, 2008

Anonymous said...Congratulations on your retirement. Enjoy the trip.
JackieJuly 24, 2008

Anonymous said...
Congrats and happy retirement!
Enjoy your trip, it sounds well deserved!
July 24, 2008

Letter to Jack, 16th July 1918

John said... I believe that Harry asking Jack what he thinks about the War reflects his hope that Jack, who he looks up to, will say something like "I believe that it will end soon". We can only imagine how tired Harry is and how many terrible things that he has seen. He is concerned about Connie too. Harry wants to come home to be with all of his loved ones and end this nightmare. Just like all of the men he's with. Hopefully he and those with him will be alright.
August 03, 2008

Sgt. Sam Avery said... I'm curious to know if the British forces had access to pre-formatted postals the same way the U.S. troops did. These seem to be of a local variety, very appealing.
August 05, 2008

Roger O'Keeffe said...Interesting that for 5th to 11th they were able to improve the defensive positions, and only used the cover of night to work on outposts (which would be forward of the main defensive line, in no man's land).
This reflects the fact that the lines are far apart, and it's a generally "quiet" sector at the moment, with perhaps a bit of "live and let live" going on and not much more than sporadic enemy harrassing artillery fire.
On the Western Front, pretty much all work on the line (replacing barbed wire, rebuilding trench walls with sandbags, fascines etc.) had to be done at night, as it was too dangerous by day because the lines were generally just a few hundred yards apart. Daytime for units in the line was a time for catching a quick if fitful snooze (sitting on the firestep, wearing full kit and with their rifles to hand), with just a couple of sentries watching for any suspicious enemy action.
27 July 2008
As Harry says in his letter, the lines were 2Km apart. In Flanders, they could be as close as 70 metres - a totally different world. BL

Heather B. said...I had just recently found this amazing blog. My heart aches each time I read Harry's requests for his family to write. He obviously missed them greatly and awaited any word from them. It is amazing to see through reading the comments the unique community that this blog's readers have formed.BL, a great many thanks to you and all your contributors for the time, effort and heart that has obviously gone in to creating this.July 23, 2008

Anonymous said...Note the reference to the Austrians being 2 kilos (i.e. kilometres) away. Not the first metric reference he has used, and strangely reminiscent of soldiers jargon 80 years later. Any knowledge of whether the British Army used metric measures operationally? July 18, 2008
No sensible answer is available to this one. In 1966, at Sandhurst we were still measuring in yards and miles. Also angles were measured in a strange unit called "mils". I can't even get an answer on when they changed to the 24 hour clock. Help please readers. BL

Anonymous said...That 'mountain fever' sounds suspiciously like the Spanish flu! Had people started to put the pieces together yet, and realize the sheer worldwide extent of it? July 15, 2008
The mysterious illness is generally accepted as being the "Spanish" 'flu. BL
jilcov said... I am glad to hear that you are all getting on well July 20, 2008l

Letter from Private Hunt

Kimberly Carrillo said...Not sure if he survived, but here is a link on Private W. Hunt:
July 11, 2008
There were quite a few Private W Hunts. I'm not sure that this is the same one. It would be a lovely link if it were. However, our Private Hunt was in a different Regiment - K.O.Y.L. I. He could have changed. Thanks for the link anyhow. BL

Anonymous said... What a sad letter. Poor Pvt. Hunt. Jackie July 11, 2008

Anonymous said...So sad: he's wounded, I'd guess his wife died while he was at the front (and he seems to have even missed her burial!)and it sounds like he in the midst of a prolonged hospitalization. I don't suppose any one knows what became of Pvt. Hunt, and if things ever got better for him?!? July 10, 2008

Letter from Cadet Creighton to Jack

Lt. Ralph Krattli said...Harry's Letter states that they had trying times at the front lines. The front line in July 1918 was already "up in the mountains"!
Harry was doing night round in No men's land "in front of our own wire" during the day time they would have been pulled back for a bit of rest as mentioned by erathwoman above. The "7th" does not need be 7th June could be May too as "... all envelopes were stuck" for 7 or 8 weeks before the 8th of July. How long did the delivery of a letter take during the war time? Guess about 2 weeks + ?
I know I am not helping to solve the puzzle.
I am amazed how frequent Harry finds time to write with all that is going on around him.
I like this blog RK
July 10, 2008

Anonymous said...But he does say that they've "had some trying times up in the frontline..."? July 09, 2008
I understand that. The problem is that the war diary says that Harry's Company has been in the front line since the 5th July. BL

erathwomen said...Harry says they're half-way up a mountain. Perhaps the war diary is generalized and Harry was pulled back for a bit of rest without being sent back...perhaps we'll find that he's back out in the front line in the future. I would expect the 7th does mean June since it took a little while for mail to arrive and he says they were out of contact for a bit. July 08, 2008
The War Diary does generally state if anything different happens to a Company or other group. Harry is in "C" Coy, and it doesn't get a mention as being anywhere else. I am a bit perplexed. BL

Anonymous said...> (I just wonder why he would be addressed as "Mr Lamin" rather than "Reverend".)
In the Church of England, the correct form of address to a member of the clergy is "The Revd J.D.Smith" on the envelope and "Mr Smith" at the top of a letter. See http://www.crockford.org.uk/standard.asp?id=116
In the USA it is more common to write "Rev Smith" and that usage is growing over here now, but 90 years ago it would have been quite incorrect.July 08, 2008
Many thanks for that. Now all is clear I suppose that the writer would have had lessons in letter writing etiquette, as a trainee officer. I know that at Sandhurst in the 1960s, there were such lessons for Officer Cadets. BL

Pat Tobin said...How strange, how strange it is," I reflected, as I looked, with an indefinable pain stabbing my chest, for Edward's name among those neat rows of oblong stones, "that all my past years-the childhood of which I have no one, now, to share the remembrance, the bright fields at Uppingham, the restless months in Buxton, the hopes and ambitions of Oxford, the losses and long-drawn agonies of the War- should be buried in this grave on the top of a mountain, in the lofty silence, the singing unearthly stillness, of these remote forests ! At every turn of every future road I shall want to ask him questions, to recall to him memories, and he will not be there. Who could have dreamed that the little boy born in such uneventful security to an ordinary provincial family would end his brief days in a battle among the high pine-woods of an unknown Italian plateau?"
Close to the wall, in the midst of a group of privates from the Sherwood Foresters who had all died on June 15th, I found his name "Captain E. H. Brittain, M.C., 11th Notts. and Derby Regt. Killed in action June 15th, 1918. Aged 22"
In Venice I had bought some rosebuds and a small asparagus fern in a pot; the shopkeeper had told me that it would last a long time, and I planted it in the rough grass beside the grave."How trivial my life has been since the War ! "I thought, as I smoothed the earth over the fern. "How mean they are, these little strivings, these petty ambitions of us who are left, now that all of you are gone! How can the future achieve, through us, the somber majesty of the past? Oh, Edward, you're so lonely up here; why can't I stay for ever and keep your grave company, far from the world and its vain endeavors to rebuild civilization, on this Plateau where alone there is dignity and peace?"
But when at last I came from the cemetery, the child, who had been playing with his father near the car, ran up to me holding out a bunch of scabious and white clover that he had picked by the roadside.
"For the little signorina," he said.
Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth. On her death her ashes were taken to Italy by her daughter, Baroness Shirley Williams, and scattered on her brothers grave. (http://www.worldwar1.com/itafront/vbp.htm)
July 07, 2008

Rocco said...Hi Michelle,
Maybe the 9 july I'll be again at Granezza with my wife to take last pictures. If you get this message write to me to: clearlance@gmail.com
Maybe, if you like, I can help you to find the best places to visit. They are so many that it's hard to choose where to go!Ciao
06 July 2008

Helen said...My Dad, Herbert Everett, (from New Zealand) was wounded in The Battle of Messines. He lost both his legs. He survived WWI and lived to be 91. He had me when he was 55years old. Consequently, my youngest son, Jesse, who is 22years old (born Jan.9,1986) is probably the youngest living grandson of a WWI veteran. I can be contacted at <<>>Helen Bockweg (Chicago, Illinois)
July 06, 2008

Direct Loan said... Oh my.. this is the best blog.

lottery said...Sorry if I commented your blog, but you have a nice idea.

Anonymous said...Perhaps that's 'Mr. Lamin' as a shorter, VERY slightly-casual version of 'the Rev. Mr. Lamin'?(I seem to recall that many of the schoolmasters of the era were men of the cloth.)July 05, 2008
It appears that Jack was a schoolmaster in Oxford before he became an Anglican priest. BL

Anonymous said...I wonder if this was the Spanish Influenza which killed so many? 4th July 2008
There was a Europe wide influenza epidemic in 1918 so I'd guess it's the same one. BL

Duncan said... I'm sure it must have been. According to this article Spanish flu appeared in Britain (in Glasgow) in May 1918 so by July it would have been well established throughout the UK. July 04, 2008.

Letters to Jack & Kate 2nd July

erathwomen said...The envelope is a fascinating artifact to examine. It seems ironic to me that it's postmarked--a sign of complete normality in a crazy time.
July 01, 2008

Lord Montrey said...Thanks. İt is good post.
July 01, 2008