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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Changing Geography

WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier is a blog with a difference, made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin’s letters from the first World War. The letters are being posted exactly 90 years after they were written. This adds an extra dimension to the texts, as we do not know Harry’s fate, whether there will be another letter from him, or if it will be a short note from the war office.

Just a line to let you know I’m going on all right. In my last letter I told you we was waiting for the lads coming out well that night I had to go up the line to help them out with the guns. we brought them part way in the lumber waggons on the way we had a smash a motor lorry ran into us smashed the wheels of the lumber wagon and tipped us all out but we only got a few bumps which we are used to. Three days after, we were called up the line again of course I went this time. We had to go to the front line were it was on the Menin Road no doubt you have heard about it. We were there for three days it was awful the shelling day and night. We relieved the KOYLI about 10 o’clock and what do you think Fritz came over about 5 o’clock next morning we had an exciting time for about one hour and a half I can tell you. but we beat him off he never got in our trenches he was about two hundred strong it was a picked storming party so the prisoners say that captured, they brought liquid fire with them and bombs and all sorts but not many got back we had twenty casuals and the captain got killed a jolly good fellow too. I was pleased to get out of it but did not feel nervous when I saw them coming over. No 1 in our section was on the gun and we used our rifles. Our Coy as to go before the general for the good work we have done. We have just been given a long trousers again as we have had had Short ones all summer.

4 Responses to “Changing Geography”

  1. May says:

    I remember reading, many years ago, a card that my grandfather sent to his family during World War I, when he was a soldier. He was only a teenager at the time, being born in December 1898 and that card was a cry for help, written nonetheless with much dignity.

  2. susangalique says:

    I work in the archives in my city and for a treat I will find a quiet corner and pull out the war correspondence box and sift through it.

    I bet this book is interesting. We have the diary and letters of one of my aunts and her sweethearts from WWI. After she got the notice of his death she succumbed to the flu in the great influenza epidemic.

    Happy New Year

    jb says: Happy New Year, susangalique. Thanks for the input.

  3. Dick says:

    This is fascinating stuff, the more so for its artlessness.

    jb says: Absolutely, Dick. I was reminded of some of the slave narratives for just that reason. It is so seldom we are allowed to view unedited material.

  4. Ketty Lee says:

    My grandparents were a war, when they were told some of the events of the war – I was crying, but they made it with dignity. I am proud of them. There is small such strong people who would be able to take the war to survive, raise children and grandchildren.