Letter to Jack, 1st June 2009

Click on the letter to enlarge

32507/9th Y+L
attached R.M.F
A.P.O. Box R.
L.1. I.E.F
June 1st/1919
Dear Jack
I have received the shirt alright it is very nice. but I have not got the towel yet I am sure it is very good of you to be so much trouble. but my shirt is in half it has been a job to get exchanges were we are but I think we shall get some before long. I am very pleased that you and Agnes are keeping in good health. and I hope you enjoy your holidays. the weather hear is very hot. We are at a small country place about like Cossall it is very pleasant there is only about forty infantry men here altogether. I think we are all being transfered to the Munsters that is not very nice as the Munsters have been here all the time we have been in Italy they were all old men and B1 or 2 you see they never went in the line but just did garrision duty about fifty miles behind the line but I dont care as long as I get home alright. Write and tell me as soon as you see anything about demob in the papers as we can get to know nothing about it out here. I have had a letter telling me that Annie is getting married. I hope she will be happy. I dont know what Ethel and Willie will do I am sure as it means giving the house up at Whitworth Rd. I am pleased to hear that you are thinking of getting a better job soon I hope you get to a nice place it will be alright. Write as often as you can I am getting letters pretty regular now.
With Best Love to you
both Harry
P.S It would be nice for Willie to pay you a visit if you are near Ilkeston I am sure he would enjoy himself.

Getting new kit would have been quite a problem in such a remote location and so Harry was resorting to getting stuff sent from home. This was not unusual. On active service, soldiers would use anything that made their life more comfortable.

Cossall is a close to Ilkeston in the East Midlands of England, right in the middle of D.H. Lawrence country. It is placed about mid way between Ilkeston, where Harry was living, and Awsworth, where he was brought up.

To answer a comment and to remind readers- Annie is Sarah Anne, Harry's sister. As far as I can tell, Ethel and Willie had moved in with Annie for the duration of Harry's absence. Whitworth road is about a mile (1.6 KM) from Mill Street and is in a much smarter part of town. (As a young child I used to get my hair cut in a barber's shop on the residential street, Whitworth road. My first school was just across the fields.) I suppose that if Annie gets married, Ethel and Willie will have to move back to the Mill Street address.

Harry is now attached to the 1st (Garrison) Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers. This is not a good move. The Garrison Battalion is made up of the sick, lame, halt, old and the lazy (to approximate), soldiers who are not fit for front line service. Harry has joined a group who, not having seen active service, won't have a high priority for re-patriation. BL

Letter to Jack, May 13 1919

Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know what I have received your letter. We are in a out of the way place just now, if you have an old shirt or a towel will you send it on as soom as possible as it is very hard to get changes up here there is about 40 of us guarding a dump it consists of all sorts guns etc.. Write as soon as you can and let me know all the news. I am please that you and Agnes are keeping in good health. If you have got an old shirt send it on as soon as possible. my address is at present.
9th Y+L
attached R.M.F
L.1. Box R
With Best love to you both Harry
I will write again in a day or two and tell you a bit more.

Sorry, that's all there is. I suppose that there's not the urgency now that the fighting's stopped. No hint of any return home yet. Rocco has found a little more local evidence that Harry is billeted at Rivalta Scrivia. BL

Radio 4 Broadcast

The blog that has gone to a book, got a very warm and supportive mention on the national Radio 4 programme "Broadcasting House".

Click to listen

Supply problems with the book, U.S and other places?

I'm sorry that some of you are having difficulty in getting hold of "The Book". Amazon in the U.S. have cheerfully taken orders but aren't delivering. My publisher has informed me that it's due to on-going negotiations with potential publishers in the U.S.

Rather than wait for that to resolve, I'm quite happy to supply the book myself. Then, I'll know that the book's delivered and I can sign and dedicate to order - if that's wanted.

Click here to buy the book

Radio Broadcast - Sunday 10th May

Readers may be interested in catching a BBC broadcast on the subject of blogs that have made books. This blog and the consequent book are included. I was interviewed by the trout stream in Derbyshire that has been a great love of Willie's life. The article should be included in the "Broadcasting House" Programme that is broadcast between 9am and 10 am on Sunday morning. Click to listen

If anyone has the book, I would appreciate comments/criticsm. BL