Ideal Christmas Gift

Now is the time to think about ordering a copy of "Letters from the Trenches" for a Christmas present. I will supply the book, signed, with a personal dedication. At the moment, I'm including a set of the postage stamps with a picture of Harry and a short extract from one of his letters. That will continue until I run out of the stamps.

To order, click on the link to the left. You can buy an unsigned copy or the audio version from Amazon UK.

World War 1 Ends Officially in 2010

Astonishingly, the final event of The Great War has taken place, 92 years after the end of hostilities. With the final installment of the reparations to be paid by Germany to France, the book can, finally be closed.

Follow the link for further details.

First World War officially ends - Telegraph  

Willie -Installment 4 (to date)

This is a tough, most difficult account to write. I’m going to start to work in the opposite direction and see if that works.
Click on any image to enlarge.
Bill, my father, is currently 94 years old. He’s very frail and has great difficulty with his memory. He lived alone after Nancy died in 2000, but  3 years later it became obvious that he wasn’t coping too well. His memory was unreliable and, in 2004 he had a minor stroke that really meant that he wasn’t able to stay in the family home. After a short stay with my sister Anita, he moved into the Residential home where he now lives.

What happened after the Second World War?  He successfully picked up his employment with the textile Company in his (and Harry’s) home town of Ilkeston. He continued with his membership of the Church Choir and became a respected member of the community.

He was successful in his employment, moving up in the company  to become their main  salesman, selling bedding to department stores in the midlands and North of England. In the early sixties, he became an independent salesman, acting as an agent for several textile companies, earning a very good living.  

He has always been a keen fly fisherman, making regular fishing trips to salmon rivers. In the sixties, he bought a share in a fishing syndicate owning the rights to  a stretch of the river Ecclesbourne, a beautiful trout stream in Derbyshire. I have been fortunate to have taken over his share and now enjoy the fishing whenever I am able. Bill was also keen on rough shooting. For many years he was member of  a syndicate that had the game shooting rights over an area of Nottinghamshire, in the vale of Belvoir.  I once remember him saying to me  that he loved walking over the countryside but he really didn’t enjoy the killing of game. He then sold his gun and that was that.

The fishing didn’t stop until he was really too unwell.  Bill made regular visits to his beloved Ecclesbourne right up to 2006. He was  a long-term member of the Rotary club and was made a Paul Harris Fellow for his efforts with that organisation..

I have an account written by Bill about himself. I’ll attach a scan. I believe it was written when he was asked to speak at the funeral of one of his fellow choir stalwarts. I’m not sure how it was used or even if that’s correct, but it’s a valuable insight into the man.

W. Lamin- Married to Nancy. Has two children, 5 grandchildren ( + 4 great grandchildren)

Member of St Mary’s choir for 71 years (still singing). Boy chorister, contemporary of Ernest Lough, soloist of “Hear my Prayer” and many other solos. Rejoined after voice changed and has always lived in Ilkeston

Sang alto then tenor, for many years tenor soloist.

Acting unpaid choirmaster for 8 years, 6 years with 4 volunteer organists.

Rotarian Chas Norman recruited him as unpaid trainer for Gladstone Youth Club, and he finished up as chairman of the club for a number of years. The club was one of the most successful in the area, both in games and voluntary service.

Hobby. Many years dedicated fly fisherman – mainly trout, and occasionally salmon. Compulsive gardener and likes experimenting with cuttings.

He has been a very private person. I suspect some of that is a legacy of his father’s ways. (Just as I, in turn, still have some legacy of Harry’s experiences. It is quite frightening.)

My father has always been an honourable man. I treasure his honesty and integrity, too rare in today’s world.