September 1919, Comments

Therese said...Thank you for the great photos of your stay with Rocco and his family. The country is truly beautiful, but you can imagine what it must have been like for Harry back then, the country side would have been much changed due to the war.
I have truly have enjoyed Harry's blog, you have done a wonderful job, and I look forward to the next installment. Therese from Australia
September 29, 2009

Rocco said...
We do believe you are sincere...except about the "excellent English". Too generous!
Tripadvisor comments: (1)
We recommend Bill as a guest to everybody. Try to believe!
September 28, 2009

Roger 'Keeffe said...Just wait for the second edition ;-)
Bill has sent me a draft chapter of the school text that he is working on. It's a worthy companion to the blog and to "the book of the blog": in plain language, I think it's bloody brilliant!. But so far no publisher is biting, which I think is a crying shame.
I'm more than willing to write a personal reaction to the draft textbook, but I'm not all that sure that my endorsement from a neutral European perspective is worth much in the UK (cf. the less-than-entirely detailed reference to "The French" on the Sherwood Foresters' map!).
Is there nobody out there with lines of communication to the UK school textbook industry that can convince a publisher about the phenomenally inspiring nature of all that Bill has brought forth from a box of letters that could just as easily have been thrown in a skip and lost forever?
This textbook is crying out for a good publisher.
Has anyone got contacts in Euroclio, the European association of history teachers? Anybody been involved in a Comenius project on history? An endoresment from someone from that sort of background would surely carry much more weight than anything that I could write as a "faceless unelected Eurocrat".
September 23, 2009
Many thanks. I'm sure an endorsement - even from a "faceless unelected Eurocrat" would help. As a footnote, I did a nominal 1 hour presentation to a year group in a local school this morning which was extremely enjoyable. The kids soon engaged with Harry and asked loads and loads of really well considered questions about the Great War. It had to wound up after 90 minutes as the Hall was wanted for another group. BL

Anonymous said...It is quite amazing that you were able to see the original trenches. It's too bad you weren't able to make this trip before publishing your book, and include some of your great pictures in it. Thanks!
September 22, 2009
Something to consider for the second edition. BL

Janell said... Sorry to hear that your trip to the Piave Front was anticlimactic. I suppose the armies weren't there long enough to leave many artifacts and scars on the ground and whatever might have been there was probably cleared by the farming population over the next near-century; but how disappointing for you to find no evidence of their November 1918 presence at the river crossing, Cimetta or Sacile. Will you be going to Rivalta Scrivia or any of the other places where Harry spent time, after November 1918?
September 20, 2009
I don't really have time to take in every where Harry visited. The bits where there was fighting were, of course, the most important. I can't see that there would be too much of interest at Rivalta. I think I may try to organise a trek - walking the route from Mantua (Mantova) to the Piave front at Montebelluna. About 100miles in easy stages. Anyone else fancy joining me? BL said... I knew you'd feel Harry's presence, as you traveled the ground he trod 90 years ago. I'm sure his angel is on your shoulder, as you travel his path back through time. Thanks for taking us on your journey.
September 18, 2009

Anonymous said... Amazing, just amazing. It's hard to say what gets to me more: the shell holes that are still so obvious, even after ninety years and another major war, or how peaceful the scene looks now. I imagine that in June 1918, the trees were either shot up or chopped down; instead of that verdant grass the fields were nothing but mud, rocks and barbed wire; and the misty haze was thick choking smoke from the guns. Instead of a serene quiet green, everything was sharp, harsh and filled with constant noise. It's no wonder many of Harry's comrades were invalided with 'shell shock'!
September 19, 2009
I'm sure that it would, at times, have been a harrowing experience but Harry is quite clear that, compared to Flanders, the Italian front was a "picnic". There wasn't the industrial intensity of warfare that was evident on the Western Front. In several letters, Harry makes it clear that it's a much quieter theatre of war. Harry, in the reserve trenches, went the front line to "have a look" on 15th June. That just wouldn't have happened in Flanders. BL

Janell said... Thank you for all the wonderful pictures from your trip to the trenches on the Asiago Plain. They are the next best thing to being there. Though the beauty of the area is breathtaking and many of the scars have healed, for those who look, evidence of the War is everywhere.
September 19, 2009

T.F. Maher, St. Louis, MO said... Thank you for the photos; what a brutal place to have a war. I cannot imagine that the stone-lined trenches would not have been more deadly than earthen equivalents; many more chances for ricochets of bullets and shell fragments, as well as pieces of stone.
Brave men!
September 20, 2009

Emanuele Ziglioli said... As an Italia, I'm ashamed and sorry to hear your were overcharged in Venice. In Italy they just take advantage of foreigners. Recently a Japanese man was charged something like 500e and it went to the police.
Well done!
September 17, 2009
Emanuele, we weren't overcharged. I just emailed to ask the prices. That wasn't a problem. Just a bit too expensive for me. BL said... I am so excited for you and for us. Just to think that you are in Italy to retrace Harry's path makes me happy. We are going to enjoy your trip almost as much as you will. Harry has shown you the way; you'll probably meet him somewhere, as you travel back in time and place.
September 17, 2009

Dr Satori said... Brilliant post. I'm next door in Padua. Wish I'd organized to meet up with you. Enjoy your visit. Thanks for this project.
September 18, 2009 said... Did you and Rocco have lunch at Harry's Bar? If so, I hope they served you on a silver plate, something to make the price a little more palatable.
September 18, 2009

Pte Harry Lamin said...
Harry's Bar is very expensive and so we didn't eat there. I can't complain as they were very clear about the prices. We could make our own decision. If I didn't make it clear in the text, we weren't ripped off. Harry's Bar's fine for tourists with a large budget. Unfortunately I'm not one of them.
September 19, 2009

colagirl said...I followed this blog fairly regularly for a while but stopped shortly after Armistice Day--I figured there couldn't be that much more left. Looks like I was wrong. I can't believe Harry's still not home yet!
Here's hoping you can get home soon, Harry.
September 17, 2009

Roger O'Keeffe said...I just noticed that although it was a different explosion, it did involve what would subsequently become Harry's battalion. I followed through the wikipedia link to the general article about the Munsters. The garrison battalions formed towards the end of the war were not intended for active service, and by 1919 they were either a source of men for guard duty, or holding formations for processing people due for demobilisation.
1 Garrison Company was initially mainly made up of old soldiers - many of them probably regulars from the pre-war era - who had seen active service and returned to duty after being wounded, but by late 1919 it was probably rather a ragbag unit.
The regiment, like others whose recruiting areas were the southern part of Ireland, was disbanded in 1922 after the creation of the Irish Free State, and some members of these regiments became the nucleus of the Irish regular army - which is how part-time soldiers like me a half-century later learnt to use words like "jildi" or "chit" in the hope of sounding like real soldiers!
September 17, 2009

Kimberly said...I found mention of the explosion on Wikipedia.
September 11, 2009
Thank you for that- but if you read the account carefully it's an explosion at a different time and place. BL

Gustav's great-granddaughter said...
For what it's worth (not much, if they can't be bothered to PROPERLY contact you!), Frontline is a television show here in the US: not sure how THEY would describe themselves, but I'd say they cover a lot of news and current events.
September 10, 2009

Kittybriton said...Good grief! Leave stopped for September? it's nearly a year since the armistice!
September 10, 2009
Of course, it's over a year since Harry has had leave and has seen Ethel and Willie. BL

Anonymous said...I found this reference:
Army of Occupation of Germany
September 10, 2009

Anonymous said...I'm 13 and I have history project on what soldiers had to endure in the great war, I was wandering if you could post some updates about the letters and life in the trenches
September 09, 2009
I would help, but I don't have an email address. You should be able to find the information you need, if you read the blog. BL

(Best Show)Watch said..Hi: Two things
1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on Frontline for our website
2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

Frontline is one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc. What’s in it for you? Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think. Thanks
September 09, 2009
Love to help, Three things; Who do I reply to? What Article? And what is "Frontline"? This MAY be a genuine request but, if it is, they're not going to get much going with that little thought! I suspect it's just a sneaky link. So I'll delete the link until you get in touch properly. BL

Anonymous said...Have a great trip --- I'm not about to tell you what photographs to take: after all, you've already done a fantastic job of leading us through Harry's war, and I doubt you'll disapoint us now!
September 02, 2009

Milanesio said...My Grandfather and his brother fought in the WWI, in the Piave river area. In that period Hemingway drove ambulances for the American Red Cross and my grandfather Bartolomeo, a Fiat 15 Ter full of ammunitions. Maybe they met :). Also John Dos Passos was around. I have some pictures of my grandpa and brother of that period (without american writers). I'll look for them and I'll send them to you.
September 01, 2009

Cecilia in Michigan said...Wow! How exciting! This will be a fantastic experience for you, and I hope you enjoy it to the fullest! I can't wait to hear all about it.
September 01, 2009

No comments: