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

1 comment:

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.