Letters to Kate and Jack, 1st July 1919

32507/ 9th Y+L
attach /Royal Munsters Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R, L 1
I.E.F Italy
July 1
Dear Kate
Just a few lines to let you know that I am alright and in good health I dont think I shall get leave yet a while well I am sure not, there are so many men with 18 months without a leave, I expect one before Christmas anyway now that peace is signed I hope it will not be long before we are all at home. I am still doing officers servant and cooking and we are still sleeping in the open field so we get plenty of fresh air night and day. I am pleased to hear that they are all going on alright at home, and I should like to know if Connie can walk yet she will soon have been their a year now it is a long time. I am glad to hear that Willie is keeping well and all at home. I hope Annie will be alright when married well I think she will be. Write as often as you can and let me know all the news and if you hear anything about demob in the papers. Jack as wrote to the office out hear about leave and a told him in my last letter not to do so as it was no use to write hear at all. I have never got the papers you were going to send and yesterday I got two of your letters together. Write as often as you can and let me know all the news and when Annie is getting married.
With Best Love
P.S I would be very pleased if you could send me a few cheap handkercheifs as I have not got any at all and also a tin of Pomard.

Connie has been at the school in Liverpool for almost a year. I wonder if Harry has had some unpleasant interviews with his officer over the letters from Jack trying to get him leave. He sounds quite agitated about it. Most unlike Harry. He seems relaxed enough to start to bother about a few of the finer things. Handkerchiefs and Pomard (Pomade - a fashionable, perfumed men's hair dressing.) is quite a change. Rocco has unearthed a spectacular account of civil unrest in England straight after the war. Quite unexpected to hear of race riots in Liverpool and Cardiff. BL

32507/9th Y+L
attached Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box R. L.1
I.E.F, Italy
July 1
Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know that I am alright and keeping in good health. The officer here as just had a letter from you asking him about leave, as I told you in my letter it is not a bit of good writing here as there is so many men with 18 months in without leave dont write here again whatever you do for I shall be surprised if I hear anything about leave for another four months at least anyway now peace is signed. I hope we shall all be home for good before long. I am still doing officers servant and cooking for him but I dont know how long it will last, I think I have kept the job. well I think I told you in my last letter that about a dozen of us were sleeping in a field in the open so we have plenty of fresh air night and day we have been out now for about five or six weeks. Do you think you will be able to get home for Annies wedding, I hope she will be alright I hope you enough (enjoy?) yourselves in the country it will be a nice change for both of you. Write as often as you can and let me know how you are getting on and if you see anything about Demob in the papers its about time they started about it. Is it true that these are are thousands listing every week in England again. I have had a letter from home and I am pleased to say that they are all getting on well could you allow Ethel 10/- a month of the money and begin the first week in July if so let me know. I will write again soon
With Best Love to you Both

A repeat of much of the letter to Kate, quite concerned about Jack writing to his officer. "thousands listing every week" refers to soldiers re-enlisting in the army. There was a huge problem with finding work and so one solution was to go back to the army. BL

Treaty of Versailles signed

"Peace" - as Harry referred to it in his letters - was signed on June 28th 1919, some 6 months after the fighting stopped. This treaty was between the allied powers and Germany. The other parties involved signed their own separate agreements at different times and places.

Negotiations to decide on the terms had been extensive. Germany had to accept the blame for the war and agree to pay reparations to the aggrieved allies. For a detailed analysis, click here.

Maybe removal of another obstacle will clear the way for Harry to go home? We shall see.

A blog follower has reported "sighting" the book in a library in Hamilton, New Zealand. Please let us know of any other sightings. BL

Letter to Jack 22nd June 1919

22nd June1919 was a Sunday, generally a rest day with time to catch up with letters. Harry's last letter was 1st June, also a Sunday..

Click on the letter for a large image.

June 22/19

Dear Jack
Just a line to let you know that I have received your letter and the towel you sent it is very good of you to send it. Ethel and Annie wants me to try and get home on leave for August, but its no use me asking from this end there is some men here now with 18 months in without leave although they are going
on leave from Fiume with eight months if they write for leave they want to send to the war office as it is no use at all sending here. any way I hope to be home on leave by October as I think it will get down to twelve months when peace is signed let me know as soon as that happens as we dont here much out here. I am still officers servant and cook but I dont know how long it will last. Do you think you could send Ethel 10/- a month and begin in the first week in July and then the first week in August till I get a leave and then I might draw some credits. No doubt they will ask you to write for a special leave if you do write to the war office as I should like to get home when things break up, any way let me know what you think best. Write as often as you can and let me know all the news, do you think the Germans will sign peace, if they do we should be demobed in six months time. I shall be very pleased to get out of it although I have not done any drilling now for about six months and I have always had eggs and bacon for breakfast while I have been a this country place and plenty of new potatoes and fruit I was surprised at the Derby winner. I will write a line to Mrs Higgins when I have time and tell her that I did not receive her parcel which she sent at christmas. Are you going home for Annie wedding she told me in her last letter that she had wrote and ask you, let me know if you do, Ethel tells me that they have given notice at Whitworth Rd. I dont think it will be very healthy for Willie at Mill street. I hope she gets another house. Write as often as you can hoping you and Agnes are keeping in the best of health.
With Best Love

32507 9th Y+L
attached Royal Munster Fusiliers
A.P.O. Box.R. L.1
I.E.F Italy

put R.M.F in full

There is still no indication of when Harry will be getting home. This letter talks of "leave" in October - very different from demobilisation. Harry's last (only) leave was in September 1918.

He seems aware that the statesmen are meeting in Paris to work out a peace treaty that will finally, formally end the hostilities.

10/- means 10 shillings which was equivalent to £0.50, worth about £25 in todays values. I don't think Harry is missing the drilling and marching
. BL

Does the Book Work?

I just have to put in a few wonderful comments from readers. Gradually, I'm beginning to believe in the book. There are a few lovely reviews on Amazon.co.uk and several journals and newspapers have reviewed it and said some very nice things about it. I think it's O.k. (phew!) BL

Marcy said...I finished it today. You did a fabulous job and your grandad would be proud. This is definitely a book that can be used by scholars, not just interested persons. Kudos to you, Bill, you have a winner here.

Linda said...Yes... I know I said I would not read to the end, but The Book has been sitting and whispering to me for too long. So I finished it, it is absolutely brilliant, perfect to the very end and I finished the way I started, stroking it and thinking about when I should start to read it, again. You should be very very proud it's definitely a keeper (you won't see this in the charity shops, I'm sure). Once again, well done you.

Jackie said...I felt the same way as Linda. I didn't want to read ahead of the blog but I couldn't stop myself. It's a wonderful book, even better than the blog! I shed a few tears more than once. I would definitely recommend it to people.

Amazon is delivering in the U.S.

I've just heard that books ordered from Amazon.com are, at last, being delivered in the States. I'm very relieved as the publisher was talking of a year!

If you order a signed copy from this web-site, delivery seems to taking between 5 days and a week for most of the world. I'm pleased to add a suitable dedication to the book.

If you do have a copy, could you consider adding a review to the Amazon.co.uk site. There are now five lovely reviews there but would certainly appreciate more. (Unless, of course, you don't like the book. Then send your opinion to me via the "comments" utility. Bad reviews will be published there, along with the good!) BL