Comments received about Harry Lamin's blog


31st December 2007

From what I've gathered from Bruce Bairnsfather's
writings, I should think William's Christmas Dinner
was a welcome relief from the endless monotony of
"Pear and Apple! Apple and Pear!" jam.
Posted by KittyBriton

Encouraged by the item on Broadcasting House
this morning I spent the afternoon reading
Harry's blog pages from the start to where he's at
right now. Thank you for sharing these
letters. It makes you realise how family stories
can so easily be forgotten and yet how important
they are to be remembered. Especially against the
backdrop of something as horrific as WW1. Good
luck with the rest of the project -which I
sincerely hope will last at least into November
2008! (Not knowing Harry's fate, I mean.)
Posted by Rebecca

Thank you for your time and effort in making
this stuff available. but most of all thank
you for your initial inspiration . . . excellent
Posted by Wilfred

That's not a lot of weight by modern standards,
but keep in mind their rucks were inferior,
their shoes much stiffer and rough on the ankles,
and the terrain likely rough and not even well
graded, certainly not paved.

I read Rickenbacker's diary a while back. The
beginning of WWI was basically the US Civil War
with observation aircraft and a few machine guns,
to start with. The technology advanced a bit, but
not tremendously, as the war went on.

I assume powder is either talcum powder or powder
for some minor but annoying infection like sweat
rash or ringworm.

Posted by Mike

30th December 2007

It's understandable, I imagine, but Harry
sounds so very lonely for his family. Almost
as if, by merely writing each of their names,
he can somehow bring them closer. Most people
today, with constant contact possible through
cell phones and email, will find it hard to relate
to his being so removed from his loved ones. But
for those who want to get a bit of a feel for
Harry's isolation: try, for just one week!, not
to have ANY cellphone, text messaging, email,
facebook/myspace, or internet contact with your
own friends and family.
Posted by
-Gustav's great-granddaughter

Very interesting and educational idea .
Will be checking Harry's world more often .
Sad that it was called the 'great war' and
'the war to end all wars' and after all these
years we now have 20 year old present day
soldier/bloggers contacting this blog from
Posted by Antisthenese
24th December 2007

Posted by Will

I wish I could see it in person. This blog
is so amazing. Kudos!
Posted by Michelles Hays

Is that a picture of sewing on that card or
is it real embroidery?

Posted by Tea N. Crumpet

The embroidery is real. These cards are referred
to as "silks", for
obvious reasons. B.L.

14th December 2007

A reply to melody haven:Siegfried Sassoon, a world
war one poet, with a very dark, cynical and sad
viewpoint on war, received a medal for bravery,
killing four German men in a machine gun nest
single handedly. If I remember correctly, he said:
'It was not bravery, I had no choice. Either I lived,
and they died, or they lived and I died'. The sanctity
of human life should be held up at all times, but
perhaps only those like Harry can really understand
what goes on when at war. In my own opinion, it was
still a useless waste of human life. Think how our
world might be if it had not happened. But it
happened, and may happen again.
Posted by the other cold one

12th December 2007
Oh my, I do love that title: Inspector of Nuisances!
Wonderful! (But then, I work in an industry where we
just recently changed our union's name from 'Moving
Picture Machine Operators' to the far more pedestrian
'Motion Picture Projectionists'. The old titles may
be a bit odd to this era's ears, but they certainly
had more flavor!)Would you happen to know what, in
general, an Inspector of Nuisances did? Is it something
like a Health and/or Sanitation Inspector, since I seem
to recall Harry's sister was involved with nursing?
Posted by Anonymous

9th December 2007
7 Miles does not seem far to most people. But for
those in war 7 miles can take weeks of moving forwards,
backwards then forward again. KUDOS to you for Bring
some memory out of the real forgotten war!!!
Posted by Thepit

7th December 2007

Harry- I have a question: In war, killing is not
murder, but when you
kill someone you are not at
war with, it is a crime. It's either kill
or be
killed. What are your feelings about this?

Posted by Melody Haven

I think it is fairly universal amongst soldiers that
they are, generally, not terribly keen on killing and
even less keen
on being killed. BL

3rd December 2007

The owner is spending his time, his computer getting
this blog updated. Not to mention his family history.
If you dont like the adverts, simple, don't click on it.
Posted by Anonymous

We have a discussion! Any other views? BL

A real shame a blog of this nature is full of google
adverts - very insulting.
Posted by Anonymous

I'm not sure that the ads are insulting but I do tend to
think that they aren't appropriate. I have decided to
remove them. They did seem to be a good idea at
the time - before the blog took off. BL

29th November 2007

The mention of the Micmac camp on the 15th and
sixteenth is intriguing. The Micmac tribe is a
native Canadian tribe in New Brunswick & Nova
Scotia. I wonder if there is a Canadian connection
here, specifically with a Maritime regiment.
Dave P (Canadian Maritimer)

I've just come across your blog, haven't got
the time to read it properly yet, but I certainly
will. I'm a 50 year old Belgian woman and when
I come in the area where these fights took place
I still think of all the broken lives. When I
think of the thousands and thousands of young
lives destroyed and families shattered I still
get tears in my eyes. These young soldiers were
sent to a foreign country to fight in horrendous
and desperate conditions, it is so ...
I just
don't have the words to express the feelings.

Posted by hildA

28th November 2007
I can't wait for the next installment.
Posted by Jaquins Lyre

26th November 2007
One of the little known stories of Passchendaele
is about a Canadian Indian named Pegamgabow.
In the nights preceding the awesome clash,
Peggy went behind enemy lines to return with
detailed descriptions of where the German
artillery and the various gun emplacements where
located, all the way back to the German bivouac
area. When the battle commenced the Canadians
moved swiftly forward, with Peggy reporting
from the flanks. they knocked out all the guns
and captured the bivouac area. Then Peggy went
back to find the relief party, lost in
no-man's-land, guided them to the other troops,
then guided the fighting unit back behind the lines.
It was an enormous shock to the German generals
to find that in all the chaos, a complete and
successful military mission had been achieved,
and many of those generals mentioned it in their
memoirs. Peggy was awarded the Military Medal.
Posted by PhilOwl

25th November 2007

Thank you for re-creating the drama of this time.
The understated way in which Harry writes is very
moving. My husband has family from the area where
Harry was born and I can just hear the accent in
his words! Synchronising the dates is a great idea.
Last Wednesday, when we had that bitter north wind
and driving rain, I thought about Harry and his
friends in France.
Posted by Tracey

24th November 2007
How were things on the home front? Were people
always aware of a war
happening or was it like
now-- "War? Oh yeah. We're at war. I have a

friend of a friend over there. . ." So sad
nowadays.Your blog keeps
getting more fascinating.
Thank you for including us on the journey!

Posted by Tea N. Crumpet

This was a major war. Everyone was affected and
well aware of it! BL

What could powder refer to? talcum?
Posted by Anonymous

Almost certainly talcum powder to make marching
more comfortable. BL

Hi as a soldier myself, I have recently decided to
start my own blog
about my journey to Iraq, while
I'm there and my arrival back to the
uk. I just
hope my blog will be as good as yours in the future.
If any
ideas to help me improve my blog, they would
be more then welcome. Thanks

Pte Lino Woolfe RAVC
Posted by lino

Your blog and the letters provide an insight into
what was the worst human-initiated tragedy of the
last century; one that we are still coping with today.
Yours is a superb use of the internet.
Posted by Red Cloud

22nd November 2007

This is really the most original blog I have ever

come across. Very nice work!!!
Posted by Bruce

uh ok
Posted by Den452001

Wonderful idea. As a history teacher I loved reading
over the blog. It's also got me thinking trying my
hand at something like this with my WWII relatives.
Posted by Christian Hartwig

'While Harry’s battalion was in the front line,
the main attack on the 12th October was carried
out by the Australian and New Zealand troops.
Their losses were enormous. They had little
success.' Notice how the British used the
Australians and New Zealanders on the front line.
Likewise the Americans put the Negros of the front
line at Vietnam. Australians are aware of being
used by the British but the Australians have forgiven
Posted by Ardent

how bout that sequel ww2????
Posted by L

Awesome Blog I'm a History Freak.
Posted by Anonymous

very good. çok güzel bir blog hazırlamışsınız.
çalışmalarınızın devamını dilerim.Trabzon/TurkeyOkul
zilizil programıokulu zil programı
Posted by sahin1977

15th November 2007

Absolutely fabulous. I hope you don't mind but
I am going to link your site to my grandfathers
site. I am tracking my grandfathers life from
1884 - 1961
Posted by LT

This is amazing. I'll read more about this later too

Posted by Katie

What an amazing blog! Would you consider
introducing your blog to our friendly
blogging community over at Fuelmyblog?
I am sure many of our readers/users would
be most fascinated by your blog.
Thank you Sylvie
Posted by sylvie d
Blog added to Fuelmyblog. BL

This is like totally incredible. I can't believe
that you could remember all this. I can scarcely
remember what I had for breakfast today but
dang! That's a lot of stuff to remember!

How many wars did you serve in ? I am currently
in U.S. history class and would like to use your
information in my National History Day project.
And by the way love the blog 2!
Posted by sarah

14th November 2007

Bravo! Wonderful use of a Blog! It's a shame that
so few people have the insight to educate their
readers when it comes to this format.
Posted by Steve

I knew a WWI veteran when I was a kid, 4-5.
He was a man physically and emotionally damaged
by his experiences.I wrote a blog about him at my
site about my parents and their experiences in the
concentration camps of WWII.Here's the
Posted by John Guzlowski
 13th November 2007

What an amazing thing you are doing in your
Grandfathers memory! I went back to the beginning
and found it so interesting. My Great Grandad was
in that same war and was from the Birmingham area.
I have an old portrait photo of him in uniform.
You`ve made me want to get it out and have another
good look at it and try to imagine what they must
have saw. If it`s there, in his eyes. tea xo
Posted by Tea & Margaritas in My Garden

Thanks for this blog
Posted by Daryl L. Hunter

I was wondering why he had to put the address in
the middle of the letter?
Posted by Sadie
 12th November 2007

wow I have just come across this blog and it looks
really interesting. I am a history lover and have
always been interested in the 20th century wars
although I haven't been able to go as much in
depth as I would have liked to. To follow the
story of this individual sounds like a great plan.
keep it up.thanks
Posted by Javier Rincón

This is terrific! I'm linking you to my blog.
Posted by Chanticleer

This is a great idea; however, when there are breaks
in the dates, can
you please put at the bottom of
the post when the next entry will be? I

think that would be a great help.
Cheers, mjc

Posted by Mike C

One of the features of the blog is to put the reader
in the place of the family - not knowing when/if the next
letter is going to arrive. There is an RSS feed to give
some help with new post timings. BL

Nice stuff! Even from here, where no war was done,
it sounds amazing.
Posted by Rômulo

Hi there, Just found your blog. Fascinating.
My Dad is transcribing his father's WWI diaries.
I have thought about blogging them when they are
done. Here is my grandfather's 11-11-1917 entry:
Sunday, November 11, 1917 Weather: Showers
Were relieved this morning at 9 A,M, Was never so
thankful for anything in my life. Was wet thru &
coated with mud from head to foot. Returned to
billets & turned in for a sleep. Stayed in
bed all day. We fired 240 rounds during our
twenty-four hours duty This is my twenty-second
birthday. Spent my last birthday in England and the
one before that in Canada. Where shall I spend the
next? I hope in Canada.
Posted by

Hi, thanks for your comment on my blog. Re my
grandfather being at the same school as yours
- I think probably not as by 1891 his direct
family had moved from Awsworth to Ilkeston
(not many miles away)although his grandparents
were still in Awsworth. I have put a photo of
him on my family history blog and a link in my
post.I am so pleased to have found you and look
forward to following Harry's story.
Posted by Rosie

I really enjoy reading this blog. Thank you so
much for creating it and
letting us read it.

Amazing blog. I will keep my eyes peeled for
the diaries, and good luck...
Posted by Trish

I've just found this fascinating story via the blog
Corners of My Mind and have read through it all -
appropriate on Remembrance Sunday. My grandfather
fought with the 5th & 6th battalion of the Warwickshire
Regiment in WW1 but I have never heard or read anything
about his experiences so this gives me a small insight
into his life. I look forward to reading more.
Posted by Rowan

This has to be one of the more original and ingenious
blogs out there. Thank you for coming up with this.
As a student of history, there is simply no way to
factor the value of the release of the letters 90
years, to the day.Thanks again for your blog.
Posted by The Accidental Existentialist

11th November 2007
Hi,This blog is really good. Keeping me in suspense
and great from a historical point of view. Have
added it to my favourites.Here at the Grimsby Wargames
Society we play WW1 games frequently and about to make
some new terrain for those games.Good work.
Posted by generalgrant

10th November 2007
Simply brilliant. The idea of recalibrating
time to fit a blog is a true stroke. I can't
wait to see where you go with it. Todd
Posted by todd vodka
Thank you and keep up the good work.
Gypsy at heart
Posted by Gypsy at heart

Great topic.It feels great to find this stuff being
blogged about.Keep it up mate
Posted by Satellite TV
I am amazed and fascinated with this incredible
collection of letters. Thank you so
much for sharing them online.
Posted by DMS
Seriously Wish that I could experience the same
that you went through.
Posted by Fazlul
is this real ?
Posted by Selma
Certainly is! BL
Wow, I'm looking forward to become a military 
historian and this is amazing.I absolutaly
love it, keep it up.dana
Posted by dana_hun
I am in my Senior year at college (studying
English, French, and Education) and I am in
the process of creating a unit for a secondary
English class. The book at the heart of the
unit is Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on
the Western Front. I was THRILLED to discover
this blog. I think it is an innovative idea to
publish your grandfather's letters in this form
and it is very generous of you to share your
family's experiences with all of us. I look
forward to reading more about Harry!
Posted by Jaclyn
Great blog-- I am so glad you are doing this
in his honour and to show us what your grandfather
was going through.
Posted by Tea N. Crumpet

Incredible. This is more worthy of posterity than
probably most of the stuff on the Internet (mine
included). Our history is important and this blog
really brings it alive. Thanks.
Posted by Demented Clanger
My great uncle Alex Latta died on passchendale
ridge. He was a Cree indian and an olympic long
distance runner. The first of his race to become
an Edmonton city policeman and by all accounts a
very fine man. I have always wondered what he
went through during his last days. keep the blog
going please.EBL
Posted by Ernesto

9th November 2007

Have you found out more about that son?
Posted by Jennie Around the World La La La La La

Great idea! Great blog!I have added you to my links.
Thanks for yourtime and effort.
Posted by Gypsy at heart

This is interesting stuff!
Posted by Family Rally

Thank you for creating this blog. I have my students
create a family project and one of the components is
comparing their life to their great grandparents or
great great grandparents using primary documents.
This will be one of my future resources.
Thanks again!
Posted by Ms. Anderson

Amazing stories told through letters. It puts flesh on
bone and makes history come alive.
Posted by Trish

What an interesting blog!I've bookmarked it!
Regards from Canada, CHVNX.COM
Posted by CHVNX

8th November

A fabulous blog! What history should be - alive, vivid
and moving. Manythanks
Posted by Robin Bowman

7th November

This is terrific!
Posted by G-Man

I have been an Anglophile ever since watching Up
Stairs Down Stairs on public TV. I am an amateur
military historian and read all I can about the
Victorian and WWI period including the Boer war.
It is criminal that the lessons learned by Jr.
officers in the Boer war did not translate when
those same officers were Sr. commanders in WWI
As a Vietnam Vet I have a trunk of photos, home
movies and letters as well as an audio tape or two.
I think it would be fantastic to release my letters
and pictures as you are doing. Its been 35 years
since I looked at my letters and I can't bring my
self to look at them.Perhaps in 55 more years a
grand son or daughter will find the time and
inclination to blog them. Best wishes. I can't wait
to read more.
Posted by Pete B

What a cool idea! Thank you.
Posted by Allie, Dearest

6th November

Such a great site ... I'll be back.
Posted by Sidthegnomenator

Hi I'm Really Impressed By Your Posts
Posted by Anonymous

This is fascinating! Found this through Blogs of Note,
and will be bookmarking.
Thank you.
Posted by ~Denise~

We remembered the battle of Passchendaele and all
our NZ countrymen who died last month during the
anniversary. Our Prime Minister attended services
at Passchendaele. I think it's really important for us
to remember all those who were lost.
Posted by Shelley Munro

good story!keep it up.
Posted by ixtremixpert

5th November

Very moving. I could see and feel what you
were writing. well done!
Posted by jkru7777

Really good subject for a blog!
Posted by Johan Olsson

Is not possible to found words for all that
sorrow.May a hug be sent 90 years after a
pain? I hope the answer is "yes".
Un abbraccio fortissimo,
Posted by Cantalupo

Posted by Aprendizagem

: )
Posted by R2K

Yes! I like your blog. It reminds me of the book
"The Patriot's Progress" (by Henry Williamson)
which is very much worth reading, even though the
author fell to the british fascist movement later.
from germany, -herbi-
Posted by Newdy

My grandfather fought in WWI. I never had the
chance to ask him about his wartime experiences.
Your blog helpd me to understand what it was
like for my grandfather and all those brave men
who fought to keep us free. Heroes all! Thanks!
Posted by Coach Pete

Congratulations on earning the Blogs of Note
distinction. That's how yours caught my eye,
and I've spent the last little while reading
from beginning to end. In the next week we
celebrate Veteran's Day here in the US, most
people don't remember the original significance
of November 11, 1918 which I find very sad. On
a more personal note, your blog has inspired me
to find out more about my great uncle's WWI
service. Keep up the wonderful blog. I'm looking
forward to finding out how Harry's war experience
Posted by Tonya

What an interesting and original way to tell
an amazing story. I will be following your
posts with interest.
Posted by Kawidawn

With all the attention that is generally given to
WWII, how wonderful that you are honoring and
bringing attention to the very horrific and
compelling events of WWI. Thank you.
Posted by Suzanne

Thank you for this interesting blog.Posted by A Listener

I think this was your first post but I'll need
to go back and check that. Just so you know where
I commented. What a truly fantastic idea for a blog.
I came across it from the blogs of note. My eldest
boy and husband will be fascinated to read it.

 4th November 2007

Nice blog! I will follow it. I have just
discovered it now. War is a experience that
Brazillians had never experienced. Greetings
from Brazil.
Posted by Rita

Nice going. Last month, me and my history class
went on a WW1 trip around France - it's a bit
odd seeing you mention Passchendaele, and
Menin and stuff seeing I've only just come
back from there. actually,if you're interested,
we all blogged the trip as we went:
There's photos and stuff of all the memorials
we visited. in case you're interested
Posted by Ninquelosse

Oui, c'est pas mal
Posted by SAd_

Hi there. Lovely idea for a blog. This 90th
anniversary of Passchendaele has become poignant
for me in that researching my family I found a
Great Uncle was one of those who fell.
Posted by enfieldian

Esta e uma mensagem para todo o mundo:Fujam
enquanto podem...Corram plas vossas vidas..
salvem as vossas familias..Lutem pla vossa
subrevivencia..A terceira Grande guerra vai
Posted by Anonymous

I'm fascinated with WWI trench warfare. War
strategy has a lot of good comparisons to
living through life. Battle of attrition seems
to me like a war strategy as well as a popularity
strategy for us today, we want everybody to
like us even if it means paying little attention to
all rather than a lot of attention to some. But,
in the end, don't we want exposure? Candidates do,
they want their name out there to everybody, not
just to some. I dunno, just a thought.
Posted by Kid Marine

It's wonderful to see the First World War still
has a following. Sometimes I feel, there was a
period where the hopes and fears of the soldiers
fighting there had been lost in the shadow of
the Second World War. I love reading the letters
from any of those fellows somehow keeping it
together. Thanks!
Posted by Bill ( A different Bill to the next
comment's author - I assume. BL)

I'm very pleased to see your blog. It's wonderful
to see any letters or journals from this forgotten
heroes. We just recently had a memorial dedicated
to Canadians at Passchendaele within our House of
Commons. In Canada, most of the population speaks
of 'Vimy', but have long ago forgotten some of the
more horrific battles our lads took part in. Please
vist my blog-Canadians in the Great War.It's my
small attempt at providing a venue for historians
looking for information and an outlet for
discussion on this subject.Thanks!
Posted by Bill

I enjoyed...Thank You!
Posted by DeportNow

What a great idea for a fascinating blog. I
read a lot about WWI and happen to be reading
a soldier's memoirs right now.What a shame that
you deface the blog with all the advertising.
Posted by L-girl

I agree L-girl. It seemed like a good idea at
the time. They will go. BL

Congratulations on a wonderful blog.I shall
return often.
Posted by Anne Whitfield

I have never been a history buff, but this blog
highlights the importance of learning about the
Posted by Jackie

Wait... When you say Derbyshire, which state do you
Posted by Anonymous

Derbyshire ENGLAND! BL
3rd November 2007

your blog is really original, and the story is
interesting, ;)
Posted by vid's

very interesting
Posted by Игорь

Thank you for doing this blog; it really gives life
to an era probably no one reading this lived through.
I wish I had as much from my own great-grandfather,
who may very well have faced Harry across some
no-man's-land between the opposing trenches: my
great-grandfather was a sergeant with the 8th
Infantry Detachment, Lorch Germany. He left his
wife and three small children (one of whom would
eventually become my grandfather) to serve in the
Kaiser's army; I have his medals, but none of the
family now living knows anything about his years
in the service. If my grandfather knew anything
about his father's war experiences, he refused to
say. (There are apparently no existing WWI army
personnel records to be gotten from Germany: they
were, it seems, bombed out of existence during
WWII.)You are fortunate indeed to have Harry's
letters, and we are fortunate you are sharing
them with us.-
Gustav's great-granddaughter

What an excellent blog and thank you for sharing
this with others. I have always wanted to learn
more of WW1. My grandfather and his brothers
served but he never spoke of it. My father is
a WWII veteran. He and others should write blogs
such as these. It is very important that these
first hand accounts of war is told and preserved.
Hats off to you and congratulations for a blogging
job well done!
Posted by kansasrose

this is all very interesting.. I'll be following
this, for sure!
Posted by azzief

What a fantastic blog. I have just started reading.
I am from Sweden, we never got drawn into any of
the wars, but I am still very interested in
history.Anyway, I just want to comment on the bread
and drippings food. It brings back memories to me.
My father had it a lot when he grew up,he was born
in 1924. And I remember that we had it now and then
when I was a kid, I am born 1964, but I never liked
it. Not because we were poor, but the people back
then just liked it I suppose. My father loved that
kind of food, he had bread and drippings all his
life, he passed away 2000. But now that tradition
is gone for ever here in Sweden too I am sure. I
for sure haven´t passed it on.
Posted by Svenne Farang

Right now in History, we're studying the Somme
Offensive and Passchendaele and this puts it into a
much more interesting and personal perspective than
any textbook ever could. Thank you so much for
blogging his accounts.It's true, Haig never visited
the front line but since he was supported by the King,
he was kept in charge. Even though the prime minister
at the time disagreed with his methods.
Posted by girl in the know

oh my goodness! what a mysterious, interesting
blog! :-)
Posted by Charity

Great write up. This story just exemplifies the
conditions and horrific battles of WW1. These
such stories must be preserved and told in order
to continue to learn. Keep up the great work.
Posted by Chamberlain

This is a great blog. We can't forget those
who gave us the freedoms
we enjoy today.
I'm linking this to my blog.

Posted by Bryan

Your blog is really intriguing. I think
it's incredible to read someone's thoughts
from many years ago!
Posted by Nicole

Posted by David Darg
2nd November 2007

Congratulations for you blog. My grandfather
served as a military doctor in the Portuguese
Army during WWI. He went to South Angola and
in France.I managed to preserve some of his
memories through my father.Thats is how I
developed my blog Antigamente (In the old
days). It has a collection of postcards from
my grandfather. It includes postcards from
France in the years of WWI.Just a note: It
is all written in Portuguese. Sorry about that!
Posted by Marco

Thanks, WWI is just so much ancient history,
sadly. Thank you to the stoic canadians and
english who suffered through the slaughter
that was Passchendaele.
Posted by Spaceman Spiff

Thank you for bringing WW1 back to life, 90 years
on. I've posted a
blog with Faces from the War
Memorial from the Isle of Lewis, which
lost 1,150
of the about 6,000 that went to war between 1914
and 1919.
200 of those drowned within sight of
Stornoway harbour on 1 January
1919, as they were
coming home on HMY Iolaire. You still can't talk

about that here in Lewis.
Posted by ADB

Every year in November, I find myself gearing
up for Remembrance Day (always a big commemoration
in Canada) & start looking for new material, TV
shows, films, etc. And here's your blog; I'm so
glad I found it. It's just the most marvelous
memorial of & to the common men caught up in
duty & honour. You are very very lucky to have
theseletters & very very kind to share them with
the world. Thank you so much.
Marita Yellowknife, NWT, Canada
Posted by arctic dreamer

Have happened across your blog through the blogs
of note section. A
most interesting account, and
very moving. Amazing how you can see a
very brave
man in the letters. A bit of a do (39 killed, more
etc. My great-grandfather was a sniper in
WW1, and the only thing we
have as a reminder of
that time are the Bruce Bairnsfather cartoon

magazines, which in all probability he carried with
him during the war,
judging by the state of them.
He lived to be 95, and died just after I
was born,
but apparently never ever spoke of his experiences.
Siegfried Sassoon said, there is no bravery on
a battlefield, just
necessity, and stark choices.
Probably hard to explain to anyone
firsthand knowledge. I shall keep following your
blog with
interest. Thank you.
Posted by the other cold one

si quieres hacer porras sobre la liga, informarte
d partidos, pasartelo bien entra
encharlieeldelosmallos.blogspot.comeste blog esta
mu bien t felicito x aberlo echo
Posted by Anonymous

"By the evening of October 14 there simply was
no one left alive on the
battlefield."That must
have been a horrible sight to see! I like the

way you write, with such detail and description.
Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Jamie

Just to put this all in a context, the action
at Passchendale was the
last stage of a larger
offensive aimed at capturing U-boat bases on the

Belgian coast. The summer offensive near Ypres
was kicked off
brilliantly at Messines Ridge in
June, but was drowned in unseasonable
rains. It
was perhaps the most senseless of all the British
during the Great War.
Posted by Kevin

I wish I had been aware of your blog b4 my
November 1 post, in which I advocate for the US
to return to calling November 11 "Armistice Day,"
as a way to honor those who fought in WWI. I would
have linked to your blog.
Posted by Mr. McGregor's Daughter

Great story. Now ure more than hundred years
old right? ;p

Posted by Zang

Good, fantastic history lessons Congratulations
From Bolivia Percy Herbas.Muy interesante blog,
la historia verdadera de un soldado inglés.
Posted by ojoconelsordo

It seems to me that Haig's statements were
for a press release. more
toward encouraging
others to join the fray than give moral support to

his men. :)congratulations on having recognized
as a blog of note. :)

Posted by kenni

good write up. keep it up.
Posted by evirtualpie

Wow! This is interesting stuff! Thanks for
blogging this!!

Posted by Amber

very nice blog good work
Posted by me me

I heard the broadcast on Radio 4 the other
Sunday. Like you, we found letters from

my grandfather to his family when we cleared
my mother's house two years ago. My
came from Nottingham and was conscripted into
the army in 1916. His
name was John George
Osbourne but everybody called hm Jack! Unfortunately
his army
career only lasted a few weeks and he was
killed on the Somme just a couple of
months before
my mother was born. His letters are more about the
training they had
in Sunderland before embarking for
France. The last letter is from France. There

is also a return letter from my grandmother which
is extremely poignant as it
mentions a local woman
who gassed herself and her children when her husband
was sent
to France. We have scanned the letters and
my brother has added transcripts onto a
CD. Our
schools's A level drama and English depts want to use
them as resources for
the students. I have passed
on your blog address so no doubt there will be more

'hits' to your website!
Posted by Margaret Wilde

30th October 2007

 This blog looks great, but question. Under the
profile it says born August 1887, but on one of
the October 2006 posts it says 1888... was this
a typo?Posted by Angel Nodal

Well spotted! I always understood from the family
that Harry was born in 1888. However, quite recently
I managed to find the official record of his birth
29th August 1887. I’ll update the early post.

Thank you.BL
29th October 2007

I am addicted to your blog by the way
– I think it is fantastic! I am doing a history degree
currently and tackling the question of the boy labour
problem pre-first world war. I would really like to use
this case study in an essay and was wondering if you had
any further information on his lace-working background?
Also if he does survive, what he goes back to doing post
war? Many Thanks Kate Todd

October 13th 2007

Yeah, I heard about it on Radio 4. Brilliant
idea. I'm an English teacher and I'm always
trying to think of ways to use blogs (although
we don't have access to a class set of computers
at the moment). I could do a wartime project
with a novel set in a war and letters home
from the character whilst looking at your blog
every lesson. Even when we know the ending I
could just do a month per lesson or something
so I could make it into an annual thing. Sorry,
perhaps you all didn't need to know about that!

Posted by El

October 12th 2007
I'd like to join those who are saying thank
you for this wonderful blog and who had
relatives at Passchendaele too. My great
uncle was there, a Suffolk farm labourer
conscripted earlier in 1917 who had
transferred to the Yorkshire regiment (but
I don't know why)by the time of his death
in September 1917. I have held the war
diaries of his regiment in my hand at the
National Archives. What a feeling. He died
at the casualty clearing station known as
Mendinghem and is buried in the cemetery
of the same name. (Say the name aloud to
realise the humour that helped them survive.)

Posted by Ernie's niece
I heard about your blog on 'Broadcasting House'.
My attention was grabbed immediately, partly
because of my general interest but more because
my grandfather, George Burleigh, also served at
Passchendaele in 1917. He volunteered on the
outbreak of War and tried to get into the Navy.
At 16, he was under-age and they wouldn't take
him. The army, however, had other ideas! He
was with the Rifle Brigade and was a Bugler
and, like Harry, spent at least part of his
time as a Lewis Gunner. Sadly most of the
Rifle's records have been lost so we have
not discovered exactly where he was. Anyone
who was at that terrible battle would never
have come out the same person they went in.
My grandfather never spoke to anyone about
his experiences, except me but unfortunately
I wasn't really old enough to appreciate how
valuable this might have been. I do remember
him telling me that he once spent a night is
a broken tank which he said was called
'Charlie Chaplin'. Although there seem to be
no letters, I am delighted that I have a
number of artifacts from his time in the
Rifle Brigade. There are his badges and
medals (he was mentioned in Despatches but
for what I don't know), his bugle, pay
book and some postcards and silk cards
which he sent back to my grandmother (they
were childhood sweethearts and married in
1922). His father was in the King's Royal
Rifles and I do know they met up while
they were over there, my great-grandfather
arranging for a birthday cake to be made
for him! Other than that I have very little
information about his war service. He was
always extremely proud of his Regiment and
a bit of this pride has transferred to me!
Your posting of Harry's letters are a
wonderful idea, especially as it is exactly
90 years to the day and date. Now I've
caught up with the story I'll be checking
daily to get the latest. Well done and many
thanks for sharing this with us.
David Burleigh.
For Ernie, who wanted to read all the letters
in the right order - I, too, came new to this
after hearing the broadcast on Radio 4 on
Sunday. I hot-footed it to the computer, and
read the lot - As far as I can see, the only
way is to click on the earliest entries and
read them in order that way - that's how I did
it. I was enthralled until I'd read all of them.
Now, I read in the War Diary that Harry went
into the front again on the 10th October - and
I'm on the edge of my seat until I find out
how he fares. I am also a complete newcomer
to blogs, but I am so impressed by this one,
being similarly interested in my own Grandad's
experience of fighting in Passchendaele, that
I have begun my own blog about it! They say
imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
Unfortunately, all that survives of his
communications with his wife is a few
postcards. She pre-deceased him, so I suppose
he destroyed anything too personal, keeping
the less personal postcards for history's
sake.Your blog is a fine, fine tribute to
Harry and all those who fought in that
terrible war. We have visited Ypres several
times over the last few years. I've heard it
called "Holy Ground" surely is.

Posted by Greg's granddaughter
October 10th 2007

Thanks for this, I too heard about it on Radio 4.
I shall follow the succeeding instalments with
great interest. My grandfather was at
Passchendaele in 1917, so he couldn't have been
too far away. His story, more particular what
happened to him after he was captured near
La Fere in March 1918, can be found at

My uncles were out in France in a Lancashire
Regiment. My Dad ran away to join up but he
was too young and His mother brought him back.
They all survived but one of them was gassed
and their health was affected.
All of them dead now.
God bless them and Harry.

Posted by PI

October 9th 2007

Congratulations on the blog for your grandfather
which I've just found after hearing you on Radio 4.

I have a quick technical question:
Is there a way I can reverse the order of letters
so that first one is at the top? (I'm new to blogs).
Having arrived late to the story I wanted to read
the earliest first and carry on down to the latest
but can't see how. Not to worry if it can't be done.
Congratulations again. Tremendous stuff. I'm sure
he'd be very proud and amazed at what you've done.
Best wishes
Ernie Fortnum

Can anyone Help Ernie?
I think ADMS is probably Assistant Director of
Medical Services. Tim

I believe it (A.D.M.S.) stands for Assistant Director
of Medical Services. I found it on the following link.

Keep up the great work. My 10 yr old is really
interested in the blog and if it teaches him anything
about WW1 and it's horrors, all the better.
What a fantastic collection of memories.
Thank you so much for sharing.I am hooked
and can't wait for the next letter. I can
only imagine how Harry's wife and brother
must have felt waiting for news.
Thank you


October 8th 2007

I have read most of your letters and I love
all of them
Posted by rincy james

October 7th 2007

I too heard about this on Radio 4. I think you
are doing an amazing thing by bringing this to
the rest of the world. Harry would be so proud.
Posted by Richard & Ali

I am 64 years old and knew men who fought in
the first war. All my life
I've been in awe
of every last one of them from both or all
sides bvc

Posted by codders

I have just started reading about William
Lamin and see your query about Harold

According to The Commonwealth War Graves
Commission web-site :-

Private Harold Bentley
11th. Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment
Age 23
Died 28th April 1918
Service No. 11/1141

Son of Robert and Amanda Bentley
of 50 Sharp Street, Newland Avenue

Commonwealth War Dead
Grave Reference 62.6201 Hull
Western Cemetery ( He must have been
brought home before dying of his wounds)
His medal card showing his campaign medals,
available on the National Archives Web-Site
is Reference 35592/23697
and can be purchased on-line for £3.50.

Keep up the good work,


John White

My blood ran cold when I read in the diary
for 30th September, the opening of the battle,
that the enemy was using "flammenwerfer" -
flame throwers. Film archive of these in use
has been shown on TV -absolutely horrific.
Apparently, we used them too...

About the souvenirs - my Grandad, who served
throughout WW1 and was wounded in the Battle
of Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, had a little
collection of souvenirs from his time in the
Somme area in enamel brooch with
the name of the town Amiens, a little
silver-coloured ring engraved "Somme", and a
rosary with markings from the Somme
battlefields. I think the people in the towns
and villages servicing the needs of the huge
numbers of soldiers behind the lines made a
living how they could, including selling them
souvenirs! Apparently, the front in France
and Belgium was always simply referred to
as France. Oh, if you don't mind a little
correction, The local namefor Ypres is
Ieper, not Leper.
Posted by Greg's granddaughter

Great Blog. I fully agree with the anonymous
comment. My great uncle was on the Somme
and my father a POW in WW2. Nowadays I meet
graduates who haven't a clue who McMillan or
Kennedy were. How can so many know so little
of our nation's past. Cenotaphs are inscribed
"Lest we forget". Rings a bit hollow doesn't it.
Thanks for bringing a little bit of history back
to life, albeit from a tragic time. I will
definitely continue to follow Harry's story.
Posted by Mac

Last week I visited Hill 60 with my brother
and family, and saw the
Caterpilar crater -
we took a photo. It certainly makes an
Thank you for sharing all this.
My grandfather (S Staffs) survived
with a blighty wound, and we went to "walk the
ground" as
near as possible to the 90th

Posted by Greg's Granddaughter

I also got the intro via Radio4 - please
keep up the excellent work. One of the most
moving experiences anyone can have is a guided
tour of the WWI area around Ypres and
Paschendale. It makes grown men cry, and
maybe ought to be compulsory for all
Posted by Colin

Heard about this on Radio4, I look forward
to following.My father was
wounded in WW1,
I can find no information, not even where he
you are lucky. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Pastel Artist


I just heard your interview on radio 4.

With regard to what to do with the letters.
you might want to donate them to the Imperial
War Museum, London, which has an archive and
reading room for such materials. The staff
there were very helpful and it would be a
good place for the original letters to be
stored yet remain accessible to the public.

I couldn't imagine wearing shorts in a

trench environment.
Posted by Anonymous

What a great idea! Thanks for posting this.
I'm going to follow the blog, rather than
google our soldier, to learn his fate.
Posted by gouldie

September 26th
Texas Yank here. Really enjoying this. Just
read several of the Wordsworth Military
Library Series on WWI (Loos,Mons,1916
Somme,Jutland). This puts a face to it.

Sept 23rd 2007
Hats off to you! A taste of history to be sure.
Yahoo did good to put
this on the fore-front
so to key interest. Most of our nation is

now "history brain dead" and it shows in
the stupid mistakes we make,
over and over and
over again - all the way to the top. Maybe
this will
spur some interest in a subject as
important as math and science. More

needs to be done. Thanks.

Sept 22nd 2007
This is awesome. I found this on my Yahoo home
page and as big history buff, I was fascinated.
Keep it going. I will look forward to the next

Sept 5th 2007
What a wonderful idea! This makes history come
alive! For today's young
people who cannot see
the relevance of history, what a fabulous tool

this could be! Thank you for posting the old
pictures on your blog. I
love viewing them and
seeing those who lived so long ago! I believe
camera was the best invention ever. I will
have to pick up the book you
"Birdsong". If you have not read Anne Perry's
WWI series,
they are well worth the read as
well!2003: No Graves as Yet2004:
Shoulder the
Sky: 19152006: Angels in the Gloom2007: March:
At Some
Disputed Barricade2007: April: We Shall
Not Sleep.Thank you again for

Posted by Lisa from Texas

Endsleigh Financial can help with UK mortgages

Sept 4th 2007

All the explanation and the blah-blahs make
this kind of complicated to follow.

Thank you for sharing your family and a look
to our past. My English
heritage runs deep
through my Texas roots. I just became aware
of this
site and will be catching up with
the postings. The blog was introduced

through a computer site.
Dallas/ Ft Worth Texas

Posted by diana

What a wonderful tribute to all those that
served in World War I.Just a possible
correction. The letters posted May 14, 2007
with two letters. One to Kate where did not
have an address to give her to write back
dated The same day 1917. The second letter
to Jack could not have been written the
same days as he gave Jack a mailing address
to send letters to. So the letter to Jack
must have been written sometime previous to
the letter Kate because he gave Jack the
address to the West York and he told Kate
that he was transfered from the West York
to ninth Bat York & Lancaster so the 9th
Bat York and Lancaster May14, 2007.Weather
it is correct or not it is a very moving
R. K. Staggers

Well spotted. You're absoluteley correct.
One letter has no date and so I had to do
some detective work myself - obviously not
as well as Mr Staggers' efforts. BL

Posted by Anonymous

Hello, What a great idea to publish the letters.
Thank you so much for sharing them with everyone.
The thought struck me that the letters may be
very valuable. I saw an appraisal on Antiques
Roadshow US for one letter written by someone
on a wagon train going West (in the US).
Anyway, it was worth a lot of money---and that
was just one letter. I thought someone probably
already had the idea of their value but wanted
to make certain and just had to send you an
email. I hope, if you do get them appraised,
you will share it on your site.
Thanks again,
Leslie Kight
Moline, IL

I know the feelings you have about the letters and
diaries - my grandfather was in the Canadian 20th Bn,
and I recently came across some of the letters he
wrote to his fiancee, family, and one of his personal
diaries - which contains the entry describing his

His battalion's war diaries are posted online, so it's
been interesting to compare the two!

It's a great feeling holding a piece of history in
your hands, isn't it?!

John Fisken
Oak Harbor, WA

Do we know who Jack and Annie are?

Drippings - that must be the yummy bits of brown
pieces in the bottom of the pan after cooking a
roast, or pork chops, etc. that I sneak and eat
in the kitchen when I am cleaning up after dinner.
Is that right? So yummy!

Posted by PeacePug to WW1: Experiences of an
English Soldier at 3:56 PM

Reply Peacepug - You've got it. It is explained
in the commentary to the letter. Jack and Annie
are Harry's brother & sister. Also explained
in the commentary BL

August 29th 2007
Hello, I am a huge history buff, especially where
military conflicts are concerned. This kind of
insight regarding a man in the midst of such a
conflict is priceless to me.I found out about
this site by accident yesterday while looking
up other info on WW1, and am already caught up
on all dispatches and letters. I find myself
refreshing the pages in hopes of finding
something new immediately - or perhaps
something I've missed (not likely).As I read
the letters and reports, and view the
various pictures, my mind is putting me right
there with him (as best my imagination can,
having only movies to go by).Thank you very
much for sharing this story!

Sean McCormick Dallas, Texas, USA

August 16th 2007

Its amazing 2 be able to experience the things these
amazing people did. We will never understand exactly
but they help us 2 appreciate all of them.
My Pops a vietnam veteran and i have much respect
for him. And all of the people who fought for our are all amazing, and
yes, thank you for sharing this!, x
August 8th 
Firstly, I think this is excellent. I first
heard about it on Five Live few weeks ago
and have been checking in every day since,
after getting up to speed with the earlier
material. I'm only in my late thirties,
but have always been fascinated by the
World Wars, particularly the First, when
the sacrifices ordinary people made was
incredible. I have a young son and
intend to ensure that he continues to
remember them. I visited the Thiepval
Memorial in the Somme a few years ago,
and intend to take my son there one
day when he is old enough to start to
understand. With regard to the war
diaries, why not upload all of them to
date in one place so that we can "catch
up" and include a copy in the right place
chronologically to date and from now on.
Provided you refer to them occasionally,
people can goto find them. I know I went
back to the beginning when I first visited
your site. Please keep this going. I
think it is hugely important. The
last surviving British soldier who served
in the trenches is 109 years old and once
he's gone it will be harder and harder to
keep people interested in what is one of
the most important times in our history.
All the best. Ed Quarmby, Cornwall
July 27th 
My grandfather served in WWI. He is of
Welsh descendant but from the USA.
He lost his hearing in the trenches.
We have been told that a bug lodged
in his ear and ate his inner ear.
Because of this site I am compelled to
research more on my own grandfather’s
Dear Bill,I've found it quite moving
working through from the beginning.
It must be particularly poignant for
you. I do hope it becomes a resource
for pupils and will make people aware
on my travels.
Regards David
I have just discovered this wonderful
historical weblog. this is what I see
as a perfect use of the new online
multi-media tools,such as blogging.
history and discovery, on a personal level.
I am sure it has been a labor of love for
you, and I thank you for what I am sure
will be an enriching experience for myself.
I do have a question. is it possible for
you to include a photograph of the grave/
gravestone of the final resting place of
katie and Connie? i love the history
resplendent in cemeteries, and the
constant mystery of what stories those
headstones could tell, if only... well,
this unique blog would be a 21st century
way of connecting the history and mystery.
i have often wondered if i myself could
take on such a task, perhaps photographing
small rural South Carolina cemeteries,
and then finding bits and pieces of the
history to go with the tombstones. thank you,
from across the pond...sandy

July 26th 2007

Just found this by chance and I've got to
say it grabbed me right away...

This event came into much clearer focus
tonight as I was watching a
show on the Discover Channel
called "Digging Up the Trenches"
(UK History Channel) This show
talked about the trench warfare of
WWI and specifically talked about
the details behind this explosion.
For wider understanding of this
event and trench warfare in general,
I suggest watching this show.

July 25th 2007

I read "Birdsong" which I believe
you mentioned the first time I saw
your site. It was excellent and
reveals the particular horrors
experienced by the WWI soldiers.
I suppose each war has its somewhat
unique brand of horror. My mother
(born 1906) lost her only brother on
a bombing run over Germany on
Easter Sunday 1944. But at least
he was in comfortable lodgings when
not flying. In fact, a couple of
wealthy English spinsters entertained
his crew on leave several times.
My mother's parents passed away
soon after WWII ended but Miss Violet
wrote to my mother for many
years after the war was over. Neither
my mother nor any of her 5 sisters
ever got to visit Uncle Ken's grave
in England. But I've inherited her
copy of his picture, which has an
honored place on my bookshelf.
I barely remember him home on
leave holding me in his arms and
"dancing" with me.
Beverly Oregon, USA

July 17th

The information that you are providing
is fascinating. I hope you are considering
putting this all in book form. You write
with such warmth and colour, I look forward
to finding out more as the weeks go by!

Listened to your interview. Fascinating.
I have just returned from a music tour
with my Big Band to Belgium. On the
way back we stopped in Ypres for a
battlefield tour. One of the most
moving experiences of my life. T
he students were stunned to silence
at the enormity of it all.
Fantastic blog. How did you link
the broadcast to the blog? (If you
don't mind me asking.. Keep up the
good work... I've added links to it
on my department blog for the
students to follow as well.

I just received scans of the letters
my great-grandfather wrote to his
family--and vice versa--during WWI,
while he was stationed with the
American North Russian Expeditionary
Forces. I'll be posting them on my
blog as well.I look forward to reading
more of your letters and comparing
them with my own family's.

July 16th 2007

Thank you for creating this blog.
Also heard your article on Radio
5 Live. I have just caught up on
all the entries to date - it's
absorbing. I will continue to
follow up. Best regards, Sally

I heard you being interviewed
on Radio 5 and today have accessed
your diary of Harry Lamin.
It reminded me of the family trying
to get Grandfather to talk of his
experiences in 1917/18 and the
horrors of those times. He never did.
Harry's letters are quite remarkable
in their modesty as he does his best
to allay the fears of family at home.
You are to be congratulated on an
inspired idea to share them with so
many enthusiasts. Well done!

July 15th

Hi Thanks for your blog.
My great uncle was in the 9th Yorks &
Lancs but wasn't transferred to them
until 4th July 1917 - so am looking
forward to the letters from here on.
Any chance of a sneak preview -
does your Harry get as far as Italy?
{Does he remain in the 9th Yorks &
Lancs for rest of war?]
Thanks for taking the trouble
to post this stuff - its great.
(Same contributor as previous comment-
following my reply asking for information,
but NOT giving anything away)
I assume you have looked for Harry's
service record (if it survived) and
Medal Index Card?
The 9th Yorks & Lancs were in the
23rd Division. There is a great WWI
website at
and if you go to it
lists all the battles that the 23rd
Division were in.
The War Diaries of 9th Y & L are in
the National Archives at Kew. I've
started to take a few notes from
them - but it's a very long job.
However the War Diaries do not
usually contain the names of
ordinary soldiers - only officers
get mentioned - and then probably
only if the died or left/joined
the Battn.
On 4th July 1917 your Harry
probably saw the King - here
is the entry from the War Dairy:
about 9.15am. The Battn. collected
informally by the roadside to cheer
The King".
My great uncle was Harry Gall -
the family originally came from
Norfolk but moved to London around
turn of century. My Harry was in
the Northumberland Fusiliers first
(he probably didn't even know where
Northumberland was!), then when he
got to France he was transferred
into the 9th Y&L - on 4th July 1917
- perhaps to make up the number
after the battle of Messines? I
have a photo of somewhere - but
no letters (except a couple in
his service record).

July 14th 2007

Hi Thanks so much for your letters.
I am a mere 51 and have no experience
of war nor wish to have.I too heard
our interview on Radio 5 and as I
was driving pulled over to make a
note of the site.I live in Notts
and worked for a while at Stanton
Ironworks and have fond memories
of the area. Keep up the good work

Thanks for posting these. Very
interesting reading. I only
found out about it when I heard
you interview on radio 5 Live
on 13/7/7. Looking forward to more.

I just wanted to say how brilliant
this is. it must have taken some
time to put together and makes a
fascinating and thought provoking
read, at this current time. I'm
on the edge of my seat with fingers
crossed to see if harry makes it
in one piece.
Many thanks for taking the time
to write this blog
Anna Porretta 

Your grandfathers letters are wonderful,
such an important account of the terrible
conditions these brave men had to endure,
you must be so proud of him. One can only
be inspired by their selfless call to
duty unlike some of their senior officers
who hid behind their labels. Their
actions could not of been seen at
the time to be so instrumental in
shaping the democracy and freedom
we take for granted to-day. And
some might say was it really all
worth it?

Heard about you on Radio Five Live.
Just a quick note to say thank you
for such an interesting story and h
istorical resource, I look forward to
reading more as the days go on.
Andy in Beeston, Notts

Really good blog - my father
and two of his close relatives
fought in WW1 - two in Gallipoli
and one in France - sadly my
Father was the only one to
survive -badly wounded but
alive - these letters make
it so much more real - what
brave young men -
thank you - Sheila

I recently came across the
blog you have created about your
grandfather. I have found the
letters to be sobering and inspiring
in equal measure. And it is certainly
the most original use for a blog I
have ever come across.
I have written about your blog
on my own website today, and
screen captured two small images
of the letters to illustrate the
piece I have written. I am hoping
this is OK, given that the picture
of your grandfather can be
downloaded as a digital image.
The images I have captured are
too small for anyone to do anything
else with, but I will of course take
the pictures down if you want me to.
 hank you again for publishing your
grandfather's letters.
With very best wishes,
Paul Deegan
I heard the broadcast on five live
about your grandfathers lettersand
was very moved.
I have taken the liberty of adding
a link to the blog and a picture
of Harry on the british Army Rumour site.
I hope you don't mind, if you
do I can quickly remove it.
Thank you for shareing this
family treasure with us.
Michael kelly
Thank you for sharing this ..
how proud you must rightly be !
July 13th 2007
Thank you for sharing this.
Heard about your blog on 5live,
will follow it with intrest.
I'm in Northern Ireland.
I was at the Somme last year
for the 90th ann. Great idea
to blog the letters, very moving to read.
Heard about this on 5 live -
very impressed, it is very
interesting and moving.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
I only heard about the blog
on Five Live today, but I
will be a constant reader
from now on. As more time
passes since WW1, there are
less and less people who can
pass on their memories. Reading
Harrys' letters can help us to
understand what these brave men
went through and remind us of the
debt that we owe to his generation.
These letters must fill you with
so many different emotions, but
I hope that pride is one of them.
Just heard about the blog
on radio 5 live
Brilliant idea
Will sign on every day to
check the post box for letters !!
Mark Dutton
it is very good
These letters are so touching -
thank you for sharing them.
I am reading them in Holland. Lor.
I think this is a very
interesting website and I
will pass it on to my family!
From a patriotic Englishman....
.I cannot tell you how grateful
I am to
share this blog, we owe
our lives to gentlemen like
Harry, so glad he will never
be forgotten now he's found
the worldwide web.....

Congratulations on the blog
and may I also add my respect
in your republishing of letters.
I have just finished my History
degree and my dissertation was
on Wilfred Owen's representation
of the conflict through his poetry,
and the reliance on his letters
also gave me a great insight into
the battles and daily life.
I will regularly check this
blog; my interest in my special
subject of the First World War
will always stay with me, and I
hope that my generation continues
to keep a keen interest in what
was the most devastating war in
our history.
Thanks again.Matt

July 6th 2007

I'm following the letters with
interest from Puerto Rico.
Thanks for bringing them.

July 5th 2007

Dear Mr. Lamin, Just today
I discovered your grandfather's
blog. What a wonderful idea to
post his letters online 90
years after they were written.
My father, who lived in the Netherlands
also joined the army in 1917, he was
19 at the time. I'll be reading more
with great interest. Thanks for sharing!
June 28th 2007
I've been studying up on WWI
in my spare time and have found
that the things that cement the
details -- horrible and otherwise --
are the stories of the individuals,
like your grandfather. I've
bookmarked your excellent site
and look forward to continued
reading. Thank you!
June 18th 2007
While it might be a bit too late
to share this, I wanted to tell
you that Iam fascinated by your blog
project and lament that I had not
heard of it earlier.
Wonderful blog (in both concept
and content), the idea really
resonated with me as I am working
on genealogy research for my family's
history.I wanted to share a link to a
news program that ran on Public Radio
here in the States (I heard it on my
local station here in San Francisco).
It was a nice piece about your blog
and lead me to you..
Thank you so much for doing this,
posting the letters. I deeply
appreciate reading them. Respectfully,
C. Reed, Nashville, TN USA

June 16th 2007

I love what you are doing with
your grandfather's letters- very
inspiring and engaging.

This is a very imaginative
and delightful way to share your
grandfather's letters. I look
orward to reading your blog
as the letters come out. Thank
you for your generosity and your

I heard about you on "The World"
program on the radio today in Los
, then I visited your blog
this evening. I am interested in
your project because a similar
circumstance happened to me in 2006.
A book entitled "The Millionaires'
Unit" came out which tells the story
of a group of undergraduates at Yale
in 1916 who formed an areo club
that subsequently became the
originating squadron in U.S.
naval aviation. My grandfather
John M. Vorys was one of these early
aviators. Following the publication of
the book (by author Marc Wortman),
I discovered a trove of letters written
by my grandfather during this era.
My mother was also in possession of
a number of sketches that my
grandfather did at the time. To
make a long story short, since
the publication of the book and
discovering these other prime
resources, I have decided to make
a documentary film about the unit.
I am in the process of doing so
at this time. I have enjoyed
visiting your blog and will
come back from time to time
to see what happens in the
story. Thanks for sharing these
letters. The blog was a great
idea and it is terrific that your
story was picked up by "The World".
Sincerely, Ron King

As I drove home today I was
rivetted to a radio broadcast f
eaturing this blog and these wonderful
letters. I look forward to following
them. Thank goodness they were saved!
ps. I was listening to "The World" on
"National Public Radio." Dallas, Texas. USA

June 15th 2007

Would you consider scanning
the letters and putting the
images of the letters up on
line as well?

June 12th 2007

It must have been good to have
loved ones back home so ready
to please with little treats
but above all communications.

June 7th 2007

Caught you being interviwed
on BBC radio Five live and got
interested.I'm enjoying reading
this and have added your site
to my 'blogroll' as I believe
it's great idea and a damn
good read.

June 5th 2007

Listened to your spot on Up
All Night last night and was
Have just finished reading the blog
– excellent work – can’t wait for
the next installment!!
I’m slightly puzzled as to how old
you are. If your granddad, Harry,
was born in 1888 and your father
in 1916 (and still alive), then
presumably youmust also nearly
have grandchildren of your own –
any clues???
Keep up the good work.

I heard about your blog on
Rhod Shrap's Up All Night programme
on Radio Five. It is indeed an
excellent idea and I shall be
following Harry's letters with
interest. Well done.

30th November 2006

Great blog!!!! I'll certainly follow it!
Oct 26th 2006
My fifteen year old grandson who
is living with me has a history
assignment. We live close to a
street called Messines and he
had decided to make the Messines
Ridge Battle the subject of his
assignment. His great great uncle
Lance Corporal Matthew Carroll 34th
Btn AIF was killed at Messines
on the 8th July, 1917. I have
from him to his family and other
old papers. Very interesting and
very sad. The research he has been
doing has sparked a strong interest
and we are looking forward to
reading your blog.
Oct 24th 2006
Are you continuing with this project?
It looks really interesting -
I'm looking forward to it:-)
August 22nd 2006
This looks really interesting.
Will you release how many letters
there are ahead of the Publication?
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Maria Fischinger said...

Wow you are one year younger than my dad. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

14.01.08 - I began reading the letters on the 8th Jan 08 and am now up to date (i.e. 14th Jan 1918) today. What a wonderful gentle and real man your grandfather was (is). The lost correspondence between Harry and Ethel - I might have felt guilty reading. Marriage is such a private relationship. The other letters are poignant enough in themselves.
It is hard to imagine the miseries and worries suffered by the whole family (and all the other families too) and to know that they had to wait for each precious letter.
What an amazing site this is and what a wonderful job you are doing - thank you.

Lutz Schramm said...

Interesting Blog. I Do some similarly with the diary of my great-grandfather. It is in german only so far.

My great-grandfather was a german soldier (musican) in WW1 and he lost his son in WW2. His life was normal for that time - a real story from the other side, maybe.