Letter to Jack, 19th June 1918

handel_vangoh said...this reminds me of my grandfather...
tears are rolling when I read this...
I am simply thankful for the courage of people ahead of my generation...
June 30, 2008

gerhard said...Prices in Austria increased up to 1000% between 1913 and 1918.
Beef (1 Kilogramm)
1913: 1,60-2,20 Kronen
1918: 7,20-16,00 Kronen
1 Egg
1913: 7 Heller (1 Krone=100 Heller)
1918: 51 Heller
Wages (industrial workers)
1913: 80 Heller-1,52 Kronen (p.hr.)
1918: 2,28-2,93 Kronen
June 22, 2008

Rocco said... "casualties of the 48th Division for june 15th -16th were 922 men (206 artillery men). The Division caught 25 enemy officers, 515 NCO's or soldiers, 188 wounded and buried 576 Austro-Hungarians.
The 23rd Division had 556 casualties, caught 230 prisoners and 127 wounded.
In the night between 21-22th june, a company of the 10th Duke of Wellington's (hey Jono!) penetrated the enemy front at Ave, killing 50 Austrian soldiers, taking 31 prisoners and suffering 21 casualties."
(from George Henry Barnett-William Blackwood & Sons, Edimburgh and London, 1923) -translated from Italian, corrections welcome!
21 June 2008

Anonymous said...What a great letter, Harry seems really up and wanting to share his feelings, the attitude of the prisoners must have made them all feel positive and hopefull for an ending. Good luck Harry we are all rooting for you.Linda
June 19, 2008

Anonymous said...I, too, was anxiously awaiting word of Harry. He was in the very battle in which Edward Brittain, brother of the writer Vera Brittain, was killed. They were even from the same place, Derbyshire. (The Brittains resided in Buxton). I loved Harry's attitude of "we really gave them hell!" Obviously, he was still pumped up from battle!
June 19, 2008
Edward Brittain has been mentioned earlier by readers. "Rocco" has located his grave. Click

Anonymous said...Harry mentions in passing that after the war he will be able to say more. Hope that means that he's mentally in good shape - we read so much that so many of the men never spoke about the war afterwards. He sounds chipper - good.
June 18, 2008

Blogger John said...Very Coooooooooool!!!!
June 18, 2008

Blogger Kittybriton said...I have to admit that I wasn't previously aware that Roumania was fighting during this war! It certainly sounds as though the morale of the Austrian forces is flagging.
June 19, 2008

Blogger Nanny (Shirley) said...Can't help about the currency however I am SO GLAD that Harry is OK - Shirley
June 19, 2008

Anonymous said...What a relief to finally hear from Harry. It's good to know that everything's 'going on all right' with him, even though he must have had a tough time lately. It's difficult for any of us to contemplate the things he's experienced being so near the front line.
June 19, 2008

Paul from Canada said...According to
the Austro-Hungarian Krone was worth about $5.75 US in August 1914. It went thorough a period of devaluation during the war.
June 18, 2008

Blogger M Oneby said...I found a paper titled "The Currency Problem in Austria" by E.H. Vogel, published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 1921. The first of seven pages is viewable at the following website:


The value of 1 USD is listed for the following dates:
Aug 1918: 5.12 kronen
Dec 1915: 7.85 kronen
Dec 1916: 9.56 kronen
Nov 1918: 15.82 kronen
The paper lists many more post-war values as the krone continued to rapidly depreciate in value. The last listing is 846 kronen on July 23, 1921.
June 18, 2008

SoldierGirl2008 said...In 1918, a 2-pound loaf of bread was sold for 0.57 Kronen... so you could buy 7 pounds of bread for the 2 Kronen. In 1921, the 2-pound loaf was already sold for 7 Kronen!
I hope this gives you a feeling about what the money was worth...
Greetings from Germany!
June 18, 2008

Anonymous said...There was a 2 krown coin:


Its weight was 10g and contained 83.5% of silver. So the value of the note was at least the the value of 8.35g of silver. If you look up the price of silver in Pounds in 1918 you will probably get a measure for the notes worth.
June 18, 2008

Anonymous said... Here is an article in english about the Austrian Crown:

It seems, that the currency lost a lot of its value during WW1 due to inflation. The consumer prices rose sixteenfold during the war...
June 18, 2008

Asiago, Mid June 1918

Michelle said...My Great Granddad was killed at 3am in the first ambush which I beleive were attacked with gas on 15 June 1918 in Asiago he is buried in Granezza which I am visiting on the 9 July 2008.01 July 2008
Michelle said...My Great Grandfather was killed in the patrol party that was ambushed on the 15th June.18 June 2008
So sorry Michelle. Let us all know how your trip goes. BL

Doctor Pion said... FYI, "lachrymatory gas" is tear gas. Also, for those who don't know what a Lewis gun is or what it can do, there are two nice videos on YouTube: A short one that just shows the gun being fired, while a really well made 23 minute documentary about tracking down and shooting one shows lots of detail about how the gun is loaded and operated. Along the way I found a video of the 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Related videos include ones of other contemporary machine guns, such as a Maxim or its Vickers variant. Check out a Vickers being used to cut down a tree to get a real sense of what happened in combat. 17 June 2008

Anonymous said...Harry has just been involved in the two day Battle of Asiago (http://www.1914-1918.net/BATTLES/bat1_italy.htm)
17 June 2008

Bryony-White said...Hi, I have been reading the blog for a while now (have had to start from the begining!) as a source of background research for my A2 English literature! We are studying WW1 poetry! We intend to visit the battlefields and war graves in October! I really love your blog and I hope that Harry is ok at the end of it all! Just so I know how well informed I shall be about Harry when I visit the war graves; do the letters finish this year?(2008) or can't you tell me? As I haven't got any further than November 2007 yet!
June 17, 2008
Thank you for the kind words. I'm sorry, no clues as to Harry's fate. You'll just have to follow the blog. BL

Anonymous said...Still no news? We've had long gaps before where we didn't hear from Harry for a while. But I'm still worried and I'm afraid Linda might be right about it being a pre-warning.
June 16, 2008

Oh no! my heart just sank - I so hope this is not a pre warning, to let us all down gently, Harry must make it!Linda
June 14, 2008

farawayhats said...Having two sons away at university, I think I have a small inkling of what Harry's family must go through, from letter to letter. It's the not knowing that is the worst. I REALLY hope Harry makes it. He has become one of the family.
Your description of your trip and the photos was excellent.
June 16, 2008
Thank you, much appreciated. BL

John said...I went to pray for Harry but realized that it's strange to pray for someone in an event 90 years ago. It reminds me how wonderful this blog is making all of us identify with Harry as if it were today. I hope he'll be alright. There were survivors who went on so let's hope Harry was one of them.
June 15, 2008

Kittybriton said...I believe the "lachrymatory" gas probably would be "mustard" gas, or tear gas as we would call it today. But this was nasty stuff, capable of blinding victims who weren't quick enough to put the gas mask on, and generally lethal if breathed for any length of time. I await Harry's next letter with hope, and prayers for his safety.
June 15, 2008

Anonymous said... Have been following Harry's letters for quite a few months. This is real history, am very worried about his fate. Will continue to check this blog.

Anonymous said...Is that 'gas' mentioned in the war diary on the 15th what we generally refer to as 'mustard' gas?
June 15, 2008
"Lachrymatory gas" is, literally, tear gas. Mustard gas is a much nastier poison gas. We don't know, however, whether the War Diary writer was aware of the distinction. BL

E Roach said...Having finally caught up to the "present", the wait for a new letter is enough to drive one mad! Imagine what it was like for Harry's family.
13 June 2008

Nanny (Shirley) said... I have been worried about Harry - but hope all will be well and the he is NOT the casualty.
June 13, 2008

LetsEatLunch said... sweet site I loved WW1!
June 14, 2008
Not many who were there loved it. Hard to believe. BL

Anonymous said... I can feel the tension building as I sit and read the blog. Come on Harry. You can make it!
June 13, 2008

Anonymous said... For the first time since I started reading this blog, I am concerned for Harry's safety. Please be OK.
June 14, 2008

G, Tingey said...Coming up to the Battle of the Piave, are we not?>

15th-22 June Austro-Hungarian troops attacked, and were thrown back.
13th June 2008

Harry's Battalion had moved from the Piave River front onto the Asiago Plateau some time ago. The Battle of Piave, that started last Monday, 10th June, wouldn't affect him directly. BL