Beery said... Just found your blog. My great granddad, William Wheelhouse, must have fought alongside your granddad in France and Italy in 9 Y&L. My granddad's service number was 32606 - just 99 away from your granddad's. They must have joined 9 Y&L around the same time in 1916 - possibly they were even friends. Anyway, I just wanted to say you've done a lovely job and I'm looking forward to reading the excerpts of the battalion war diary that you've posted. I'll also be sure to buy a copy of your book, which will be a valuable resource for my own research. If you (or anyone reading these comments) want to contact me, my email address is ianbrettcooper@gmail.com Thanks again - Ian.
January 07, 2011

egad apparel said...World War 1 hasn't ended until now? It doesn't pay to start genocidal wars and lose.
October 16, 2010

Are you suggesting that it's O.K to start genocidal wars and win?BL

Rich Traub said...Bill, I check nearly every day and was so happy to see Installment 4 posted. I can almost hear/see you crying as you type your words. I remember my father in the same way so I think I can relate. Please let me know if you ever make it to Chicago...dinner is on me.
October 16, 2010
Richard thank you. You may live to regret that offer! I'll put you on the itinerary of my next trip! BL

Heather van Vonderen said...Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have looked forward to each posting. Very best to you and your family,
October 16, 2010

Anonymous said...Thank you for sharing, a man of integrity, you were very lucky to have him
October 16, 201o

Linda H-F said...Bill, it's been an honor to get to know your grandfather and your father.
You are blessed to have had both of them.... and WE are blessed to share their stories and get insights into your heart. I can only guess how hard this entry has been to write... but hope it isn't the last.Please consider continuing this blog in some way - do you have any idea of what happened with some of Harry's comrades? Perhaps your grandfather shared thoughts on world or British events after the war? Just a thought....
Gratefully, Linda H-F near San Francisco, California, USA
October 16, 2010

Rocco said..I've been silent but still guarding the blog!
I realize the end is inevitable but I think the last installment should be you: your childhood, school, Sandhurst, your job as engineer and teacher, not private facts, of course, but your life as a consequence of THOSE parents and ancestors. I launch an idea: put a date for next summer for a meeting of the blog followers at Asiago. It sounds difficult but great!
Rocco & Fulvia, Verena, Margherita and Federico (we all remember you)
October 18, 2010
Any takers? Asiago with Rocco last October was wonderful. Harry's trenches are completely untouched. I'll go again. Plenty of time. I'd go for September. Lovely weather, not too busy. BL

arturosc said...Willie was lucky indeed to not have taken the boat to the far east. Now I'll wait to your next post to present time. Cheers!
September 06, 2010

Albert Herring said...The "Approved Society" was an insurance company or friendly society that provided social benefits before the introduction of National Insurance and that after the war. The National Deposit Friendly Society still exists, sort of, as a private medical insurer.
Just guessing on the other point, but I'm wondering if the censorship of the religion information and place of birth was to protect troops who were Jewish or refugees from Germany and the occupied countries in case of capture.
September 06, 2010
Thank you for that Albert. The "approved society" bit makes sense. The censor comment is reasonable. Anyone else can confirm or improve on that suggestion? BL

Anonymous said...I wonder if there were other costs not covered by the scholarship. My two uncles couldn't attend High School in the 30s because their coal miner father couldn't afford the fares and uniform. I'm fascinated to hear more of Willie's story.
August 12, 2010

Tom Maher-St. Louis said...Your sentence "I hope so." was humorous in its understatement. I did smile - Thanks!
August 13, 2010

Anonymous said...I had just turned three when my father returned from WWII, and I remember it clearly. I lived in Northumberland with my mother and aunt, and Daddy was always talked about. We played at going to the station to meet Daddy, so I was looking forward to meeting him. He had been abroad since just after I was born, with only one leave before I was old enough to remember. After all the 'rehearsal' he just arrived at the door, so we didn't go to the station. The telegram announcing his return came the next day. I recall being woken up and taken down to meet him - having been brought up by two women, my best recollection is his prickly chin! I hope Ethel talked about Harry so he wasn't a stranger to Willie when he returned. Thanks for all your work with this blog. I have enjoyed reading it and talking about it with my mother who is 97 and has some memories of WWI.
July 29, 2010

^Uyraell^. said...Not only is it (Harry's Song) a beautiful and evocative song, very well sung, it is a fine tribute to Harry and those who served with/alongside him. My Grandfather fought at Passchendaele, Oct 4th, 1917, as did his cousin (Harry Ashe), whose body is still beneath that troubled soil. I have read some of My Grandfather's letters home, written near the time of the battle. The R.E's are mentioned there, as are a few other units, though by task, not unit designation. ((Eg:"There were Engineers nearby")). Grandfather did survive the First World War, made it back to NZ, and married my dad's mum in 1920, first child, my aunty, was born in 1921, and my dad was born in 1937. While I know Passchendael was a large battlefield, I'd like to think Harry and My Grandfather might have laid eyes on eachother during one of the lulls in the fighting, even though intellectually I know that notion is somewhat idealised. I have to say I found the tale told of/for Harry very moving.
May he Rest Well. From New Zealand:
Kind, Respectful Regards,
M.E.Pailthorpe, Grandson of the Late E.E.A Pailthorpe, 11/2359 Wellington Mounted Rifles, Veteran of Passchendael.
August 05, 2010

wellardmac said...Thank you for all the time you have put into this blog. I have enjoyed every post. I can only imagine the journey that you have taken in retelling your family history. I have to admit, I will be as sorry as you are to see the story come to an end.
July 28, 2010

Kenneth E. Urban said...How cool! Except for the year, Bill and I share a birthday!
Thanks for the blog... It has been a joy to read and follow.
July 29, 2010

Faith said...You say Willie was the second son born to Martha and Harry. Who was Martha? I thought Harry's wife's name was Ethel?

July 29, 2010
Apologies. A slip of the brain! Martha was my other grandmother. I've corrected the post. BL

Anonymous said...Easy to see why Harry missed his boy so much --- Willie looks like a real charmer!
July 29, 2010

Marc Bernard said...My mother was four years old when her father came home from the war to Canada in 1945. She remembers asking her mother, "Who is this man? Do I have to listen to him?" As the father of two young girls myself, I can't imagine the mix of joy and heartbreak that situation would be. Thank you for sharing these stories. It's been a fascinating ride.
July 29, 2010

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