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,
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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
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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.