Comments - An extra step required, Apologies

I'm afraid that, recently, I've been getting quite overwhelmed with advertising masquerading as comments. Some have contained quite offensive material. After three and a half years (not a bad innings) I've had to turn on the word verification thing to intercept the automated "spam". That should reduce the moderation load a little.

I'm sorry if this  is a nuisance for you, but please, please don't stop making the comments. They are one of the really rewarding features of this adventure.

Bill Lamin

Sarah Ann Lamin (Annie)

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Annie was regularly mentioned in Harry's letters.  It would seem that Ethel's sister-in-law provided much needed support while Harry was otherwise engaged in the war. Some of her story, although a diversion from the main plot, may be interesting to the reader.

Sarah Ann was born in 1874 and so was 13 years older than Harry, 4 years older than Kate. Like Harry and the rest of her siblings, she attended Awsworth Board School. The sampler was produced as part of that education. Spot the deliberate mistake? I wonder if Annie ever noticed. 

For Annie, I also have a certificate from the School Inspector. Level 5 is, I believe, the standard that was needed at the end of schooling. As she was aged 13, that would be about right.

I can't find what happened next to her. She doesn't seem to appear in the 1891 census and  she wasn't at home with Harry, Kate and the rest of her family. At 17 she was  probably away working as a domestic servant, as by December 1896, that is the occupation recorded on the birth certificate of her son George. No father on there. George was illegitimate.

Update! Frances has found Annie on the 1891 census. All the details age, birthplace and, if read carefully, the name (Transcribed as Lamm, not Lamin) are correct. She was a servant living with the Hutchinson family at number 70 Wilson Street, in the centre of Derby, about 12 miles from her family. Well done Frances.

A "cold call" to the next door offices of AB Consulting found a very helpful Linda, who went out and took a photograph of number 70 for me. Some people are just so helpful. Thank you Linda. I can imagine Annie and Ada,  the other servant, in the top room.

By 1901, the census tells us that Annie is working as a " cook domestic", one of two servants, in one of the big houses in Lucknow Road, Mapperley in the city of Nottingham (still, a "posh" area of the city). Little George, aged 4, was living as a "nurse child" with the Lacey family in Radcliffe-on-Trent 7 miles away. This is terribly sad. Of course, Annie (recorded as that  - not Sarah Anne) - couldn't work with a baby son in tow, so some arrangement had to be made.  That is all I know for quite a while. I know that George did some service in The Great War. His son Ken told me that he thought he was in the Engineers but I can't identify him on any military records. 
Another update; George's birth was registered by "E. Lacey - Present at the birth Ratcliffe on Trent." Almost certainly Kate E Lacey of the family that was "nursing" George at the time of the 1901 census. 

We know Annie married a Mr Enoch Hartshorne in the summer of 1919 but I can't recall any mention of the man from family members.

 George married  in 1920 and , in the summer of 1929 emigrated to Australia with his wife and young son Ken. He visited England in the 1950s, I can just remember his visit. 
Ken, now in his 80s has visited quiet recently, staying with sister Anita.

Annie became the Auntie Annie that I can remember staying with when quite small. She lived about half a mile (a Km) from my family home. She died in 1954, aged 80 and is buried in the same cemetery as Kate and Connie. The picture shows Annie at the terraced house she lived in when I visited. The sharp-eyed readers may spot that, in the book, she's wrongly identified in the photograph of Willie's wedding.

I'll be packaging up the originals of these images and sending them off to Ken in Australia.

Next week Ethel.

Major Jono Wood 1956 - 2009

Followers of the blog will be familiar with Jono's contributions. If you look down the left -hand side you'll see links to maps of the Italian campaign. There is a whole series of maps and images charting Harry's progress through Italy. They were all Jono's work. He picked up the blog quite early on and, with his own military background, quickly engaged with Harry and his activities.

He volunteered to work on the maps. As Harry's battalion shifted location in Italy, he would email the annotated map for inclusion on the blog. He was the only person in the world who knew Harry's movements in advance.

Last summer, after we had started to make plans to meet up with Rocco, to visit the Italian battlefields, all correspondence suddenly stopped.  To my shame, it's taken until now to discover what happened. It was so simple to just email. When that failed, I had no "Plan B." SNAFU.

Sadly, Jono died suddenly in his sleep in June. He leaves a wife, Stella and three daughters, Kate, Alexandra and little Sophie.

To my eternal regret, I never sat down with him and enjoyed the promised glass of wine. I know we would have become firm "proper" friends once we'd met face to face.

I've made many internet connections through this blog. Jono was one of the firmest. I've met a few of those friends. This gives me the resolve to make the effort to get out there and meet a few more.

Thanks to Jono for the support. Goodbye.