Ideal "Harry" Christmas Present

As an idea for a Present for the "Harry" enthusiast, you can buy a limited edition mounted and framed version of Harry's stamps. If you order soon, then I'll make every attempt to ensure delivery before Christmas.

Only 100 will be produced, they will be signed to that effect by Bill Lamin, Harry's Grandson.

Now available, a limited edition of 50 of the full set of six sheets of commemorative stamps, framed and mounted.

Click here for further details and to order your Limited Edition Gift .

*Only one set left*

Two Letters - 26th November 1918

Nov 26 / 1918

Y & Lancs
C Coy 12 Platoon
Dear Jack
I was very pleased to receive a letter from you. I hope you are both keeping in good health , as I am in the pink at present. I have had a letter from Ethel and they are all going on alright. I hope you received the letter I sent in the green envelope I sent it to Ilkeston. I am sending a letter to Kate will you post it for me. The weather as been very cold just lately. We had a big dinner last week. It was the victory dinner and alright too. I sent kitchens address in the last letter, I have forget it but I will get to know, if you have not received it. I am short of a pipe could you get me one as soon as possible as they are very dear out here. Has Kate been to see you yet I expect she will be coming before long. We are having plenty of sports just now running and football matches but we are in an out of the way place we cant get anything and there is nothing to see. It is about time they took us to a town or brought us to England. I hear they are going to break up the 10th Army on the 10th December, so we might get all parted and reorganised. I don’t suppose I shall get away for some months yet, but it will not be so bad if we can get to England. Things are very quite out here just now. I am very pleased that it is all over and we have finished with the trenches and mountain climbing. Write as often as you can and let me know how you are going on.

With best love to

you both Harry

E Kitchens address

5 Beta Villas
Mayfield Street
Spring bank

From the content, especially of kate's letter.It looks as though these are the first letters that he has written to Jack and Kate since the armistice. Once more in this saga, I'm almost apologising for Harry. E Kitchen's address would be local to Jack. Harry has got another "green envelope". The contents wouldn't be censored locally and so could be used for any personal or embarrassing content. There is a scan of a "green envelope" on an earlier post but not, unfortunately, addressed to Ethel. BL

Nov 26th 1918

9th York & Lancs

C Coy 12 Platoon

Dear Kate

I was very pleased to receive a letter from you. I am sending this with Jacks so I hope you get it alright. I was very glad to hear that they are all going on well at Ilkeston, and to hear such a good report about Connie send me her address, so that I can send a card to her. We are in a very poor place cant get anything and nothing to see only hills its about time we got to a town or to England, but I dont suppose we shall get there just yet. I dont suppose I shall be able to get home for some months yet. It will not be so bad if we can get to England. We had a bit of a rough time last time we were in action just at the finish we had to take a town called Sacile the Austrians had blown the bridge up over the river and held us up for five or six hours, but I and (am) glad to say that I got out of it alright. I hope you have a Merry Xmas it will make a lot of difference now the war is over. I hope you get home for Christmas. Let me know all about Connie if you go to see her anytime and how she is get on with walking. We had a dinner party last week it was called the victory dinner it was very nice. The weather is very cold but it is healthy very cold at night. We are at the bottom of the hills, there is plenty of snow on the top. Write as often as you can and let me know all the news you can, I got the papers alright.

With best love


Connie - to clarify; Harry in a letter to Jack back in August, tells how Kate is going to send Connie to school in Liverpool. I would guess that Chaucer Street School may have found it little difficult to deal with her special needs. The Liverpool school would have been a "special school" and Connie would have been a boarder.

The War Diary tells us that the "Victory Dinner" was held last Saturday, nearly two weeks after the armistice. Was this a general celebration for the whole of the army? BL

The Piave River Italy - Military reenactment

Rocco, a reader from Italy has just sent a link to a set of photographs of a reenactment of the crossing of the Piave in October 1918.

It may be of interest to readers. there are some good shots of the topography.

I had heard that the York & Lancaster Regiment reenactment Society were to be represented, so the British soldiers that can be seen may be them. (Although I thought that the leather waistcoats were of Royal Artillery issue.)

The event took place on 25th October. Click Here

At Last the End of Hostilities.

As we mark the 90th anniversary of the armistice, we can confirm that Harry has made it to the end of the war.

A link to a short BBC TV report on this milestone, may be of interest. As would the broadcast on "The World" in the USA.

I've been asked to insert a warning that some of the broadcasts do look into the future. The secret that will remain with me, however, is Harry's story between the end of the war, and arriving home. To find out that part of his story, readers will have to "follow the blog".

While we celebrate Harry's good fortune, we should, of course, remember the many, of all nationalities, who didn't make it through that dreadful conflict.

In Italy, the last week may well have been quite stressful for the troops. They would, I would think, be quite fearful that they would be trained back to Flanders to support the fighting there. By now, however, they would have heard that the War was over on all fronts and that they could really look forward to going home to resume their lives.

I can confirm that Harry's story will continue on the blog until he actually reaches home. The letters continued and will be published, in the same way, exactly 90 years to the day after he wrote them.

The book is progressing well and will be published next April. BL

Thank you to Harry's Readers - The story will continue!

Over the last 24 hours, I have been totally overwhelmed by the comments from Harry's readers. I have several times been reduced to tears. Please take a little time to go to the "Readers' Comments" blog to see the wonderful scale of this following.

Thank you for your kind wishes, notes of appreciation and messages of support. At times, this amazing journey has been hard work but the response from you all has made it well worth while.

AND, - the story isn't over yet.

I will continue to publish his letters as they were written. Still, his family wait for news. Harry, (like his dear readers) has no idea when he will get the order to go home.

Without giving too much away, there's a lot of Harry's story still to unfold.

Then there's the book. BL

Letter to Jack, 4th November 1918

Nov 4th 19/18

32507/9th Y & Lancs
C Coy
12 Platoon
Dear Jack

Just a few lines to hoping you are keeping fit. I am alright at present, but we have had some trying times as you must have seen by the papers what a big success we have had in Italy. Our div is 23rd there are three brigades in it two went and crossed the Piave and two days after we had to releive them and take up a two Brigades front they had advance about 10 kilos we had to take a place called Sacile which was about 30 kilos farther on. We were not long before we found the Austrians first day it was all open fighting a great deal of machine gun fire but not much shelling as he was retiring very quick it was a rum job going through maize fields and searching old houses. of course we could not do anything at night only put sentries out and wait till morning. next day we went to with about four kilos of Sacile without seeing anything and day after we had to take the town of course he had blown the bridge up but we took it before night. We had four wounded in our platoon bullet wounds. The Austrians then retired to the Taglemento (river). I hope the war is finished by the time you get this letter. My Pal is safe. Kitchens address. 5 Beta Villa, Mayfield Street. He is alright.
Love to you Both

In ALL of Harry's letters, this is the first time that he has mentioned any of his comrades by name. I have always found that quite astonishing.

I would guess that this letter was written in the morning of 4th November. The War Diary entry for today (4th November) is worth a look.

Comments: If you've been following Harry's blog, may I ask that, at this very significant point, you make a short comment - just to register your interest. Thank you. BL

Sudden change in atmosphere - 3rd November 1918

Consulting the Battalion's War Diary for today reveals an extraordinary and very welcome change in atmosphere. From being in an extreme active service situation, today all pressure has disappeared.

Maybe the clue was in the Diary entry for Friday 1st November. BL