About Me

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Born in August 1887 in Awsworth Notts, to Henry and Sarah Lamin. Elder Sisters Catherine (Kate), Mary Esther and Sarah Anne(Annie) and Elder brother John (Jack). Educated at Awsworth Board School, just outside Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England. I served with honour in the 9th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment seeing front line action in Flanders and Northern Italy from the end of 1916 to January 1920.

Last Entry to the War Diary

What a fantastic find the War Diary has been. I wasn't aware of such a document until almost a year into the project. After that it became the main source of material to fill in the many blanks left by Harry's letters.

It's quite possible to get a great "feel" for the mood of the times, to appreciate the way that military system worked - and still works - by simply reading through the diaries.

One of the great experiences of this project was to go to to the National archives at Kew and to be handed a box file containing the War Diaries that were actually written by the battalion adjutant a few yards away from Harry. (I kept wondering how they allow me, just me, to handle these precious documents.)

If anyone is undertaking a similar project, then Kew is an important source. Much of the material is available on-line. That's much easier, but in some ways, disappointing, as once the material  has been scanned and digitally archived, my understanding is that the originals won't just be handed over to the reader. It is rather special to handle the actual documents.

Anyway, March 1919, the War Diaries stopped. The 9th battalion was broken up and dispersed, with most troops on the way home. Harry, unfortunately had quite a way to go before he managed to get back to Ethel, Willie and Connie.

War Diary, March 1919

Terrosa Italy
March 1st to 29th

Battn at Cadre strength. No training carried out.
4 Officers from 8th Bn YORK & LANCASTER REGT. attached to this Battalion.
Dispersal Parties left TAVERNELLE on dates stated.

4th 6 OR's
8th 3 Officers
10th 3 Officers & 4 OR's

One officer proceeded to GHQ School 20/3/19 as Instructor in Motor Mechanics.
Two officers proceeded to 8th Bn YORK & LANCASTER REGT. 26/3/19
Lt Col S.D. RUMBOLD C.M.G. D.S.O. M.C. proceeded to 8th BN YORK & LANCASTER REGT. & Capt. L. TESTER took over command.
On 20th inst. all Mobilization Equipment was handed in at TAVERNELLE.
On 29th inst. the CADRE left TAVERNELLE for ENGLAND.

That is the last entry in the war diary for the 9th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment. It appears that everyone has gone home. BL

War Diary, February 1919

The Health of the Battalion during the month was good.

(signed) S.D. Rumbold Lieutenant-Colonel
Commanding 9th Battalion York and lancaster Regiment

24. to} Battalion at Cadre strength with a few men attached.
28. }
23. Church Services.
22. Battalion reduced to a CADRE with about 20 Other Ranks attached.
21 Dispersal party of 23 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE. The draft for FIUME left Battalion and entrained at TAVERNELLE.
20 The whole of the draft for FIUME were inspected by the Commander-in-Chief.
19. The whole of the draft for FIUME were inspected by the Commanding Officer.
18. Inspection of Draft for Army of Occupation by C.O. Dispersal Party of 6 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE. Draft of 12 officers and 660 O.R's. arrived from the 69th Brigade for FIUME and were attached to this Battalion.
17. Instruction in Guard Mounting etc. Inspection of interior economy arrangements by C.O.. Dispersal party of 19 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE.
16. Church Services.
15. Inspection of Transport personel by C.O. Baths. Dispersal party of 4 O.R's. left Tavernelle.
14. Re-organisation of battalion after previous day's parade. Dispersal party of 13 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE. Major G.L. Pyman, D.S.O., M.C. proceeded to England for dispersal.
13. Battalion re-formed into two units, viz., party for Army of Occupation and party eligible for demobilization. baths. A six-a-side Football Competition arranged.
12. Kit and clothing inspections by Second-in-Command. Inspection of all N.C.Os. by C.O.
.Lieut. -Colonel S.D. Rumbold, C.M.G, D.S.O., M.C. rejoined Battn. from Brigade and took over command. Interior Economy, kit and clothing inspections.

10. Battn. moved to TERROSSA. 4 O.R's. proceeded to England for dispersal.
9. Church Services. Party of 1 officer & 20 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE for dispersal.
8. Physical Training, Arms Drill,Squad Drill. Education Classes. Baths. Dispersal Party of 33 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE.
7.Every N.C.O. and man inspected by Medical Officer for scabies. Education classes.Dispersal Party of 22 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE
6. Lecture on "Demobilization" by C.O. for all men who did not attend previous day.
Lecture by Brigade Re-enlistment Officer - subject: - "Re-enlistment".
Education Classes. Baths.
5. Lecture on "Demobilization" by C.O. Battalion Route March. Education Classes.
4. Physical Training, Close Order Drill, Discipline Parades. Education Classes. baths. Dispersal Party of 17 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE.
3. Brigade Route March. Dispersal Party of 13 O.R's. left TAVERNELLE.
2. Church Services.
1. Dispersal Party of 13 Other Ranks left TAVERNELLE.

Montecchio di Crosara

War Diary - January 1919


---------------SICKNESS:- During the month the health of the Battalion
was good, theprevailing disease was I.C.T.

----------------Commanding 9th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment.

31. Battalion Scabies Inspection and Baths. 11th Dispersal Draft of 14 O.R. left Battalion.
30. Route March
29. Company Training. Education classes.
28. Interior economy. 70th L.T.M.S. absorbed into the 9th Y. & L. Regt.
27. The Battalion moved to MONTECCHIA DI CROSSARA. 10th Dispersal Draft of 15 O.R. left Batt.
26. Church Services were held during the day. A lecture on Modern Rome was given by Dr. Ashby.
25. Route March. Education classes. 9th Dispersal Draft -- 16 O.R. left the Battalion.
24. Company Training, Education classes. Baths.
23. Route March. Education Classes.
22. Corps Commander inspected all officers and O.R. entitled to 1914 -1915 Star. A Lecture on "Rome" was given by Dr. Ashby, Head of the British School, Rome.
21. Route March. Education classes. Battalion Concert.
20. Company training. Baths. Education classes. 8th Dispersal Draft of 2 officers and 20 O.R. left Battalion.
19. Church services were held during the day.
18. Route March. Education classes. 7th Dispersal Draft of 21 O.R. left Battalion.
17. Company training. Baths. Education classes. 6th Dispersal Draft of 1 officer and 27 O.R. left battalion.
16. Battalion paraded for photograph, but owing to inclement weather, could not be taken.
15. Company Training. Physical Drill. Baths. Education classes.
14. Route March. Education classes. Honours and Awards - New Year Gazette:-
---------------------------Temp/Lieut: Col: S.D. Rumbold, D.S.O., M.C.
---------------------------Temp?Lieut: (a/Capt) H.S. Gawler
---------------------------Temp/2nd Lt. J.H. Pearse (on estab. of Brigade H.Q.)
---------------------------No. 34689 Temp/Sergt. Major Pullen, G.W.
----------------------------Temp/Lieut. Col. S.D. Rumbold, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C.
----------------------------Major (Acting Lieut. Col.) F.Colley, D.S.O.
----------------------------Quartermaster & Temp/ Lieut: C.R. Kilvert
----------------------------Temp/2nd Lieut. R. Stevenson, M.C.

----------------------------No 16847 Sergt. Dungworth C.H., M.M.
--------------------------------7722 C.S.M. Cooke, W.H., D.C.M.
-------------------------------40066 L/Cpl. Coultish, C.
-------------------------------24372 L/Cpl. Senior T.A.
-------------------------------17742 Sergt. Southward, R.
-------------------------------10043 Sergt. Buxton, E.

13. Company training. Baths. 5th Dispersal Draft of 27 O.R. left Battalion.
12. Church Services during the day. Re-organisation of the Battalion. "C" Company absorbed "A" Company and "D" Company absorbed by "B" Company"
11. Battalion Physical drill with arms. Education classes. Baths.
10. Company training. Education classes.
9. Route march. Education classes. Baths. Battalion Concert
8. Second in command inspected all companies in full marching order. Education classes.
7. Route march. Education classes. Football match 9th Y. & L. v 8th K.O.Y.L.I. Baths
6. Interior economy. Education classes. 4th Dispersal Draft - 26 O.R. left Battalion.
5. Church Services. Baths
4. Route March. Education classes. 3rd Dispersal Draft- 53 O.R. left Battalion.
3. Company training. Semi final of the Divisional Boxing Competition. Education classes.
Route March
1. Final Stage of Rifle Meeting. Results:-

1st Prize. Pte C Ple3ce.--------Score 61 points.
2nd Prize. C.Q.M.S. Hinchcliffe-- "-- 60--- "
3rd Prize Sergt. Rolf. ---- - -- -----"-- 57---
4th Prize. Pte . Nettleship
- -------"-- 57--- "
5th Prize. C.Q.M.S. Gough
- -- ----"-- 57--- "
6th Prize. C.S.M. Cooke
- -- -------"-- 57--- "

Church Service for R.Cs.

War Diary - December 1918

Commanding, 9th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment

During this month, the health of the Battalion was good, the prevailing desease being I.C.T.

Classes were held daily.

Route march
Rifle meeting, continued. Kit and Clothing Inspection.
29. Church Services were held during the day.
28. Battalion Physical Drill with Arms. Company Training.
27. Route March
26. General Holiday
25. Church Service in Theatre, Arzignano. The Corps Commander was present at this service.
24. Route March.
23.Range Practices. 1st Stage of Rifle Meeting. First Dispersal Draft of 55 other ranks left the Battalion for the Concentration Camp at “Tavernelle”
22. Church Services were held during the day.
Route March.
20. Range Practice. Company Training.
19. Route March. Lecture on “ Economical Resettlement after the War” by Capt. J.E.F. Mann. M.C.
18. Battalion Ceremonial Parade. Company Training. Baths.
17. Interior Economy. Lecture on “Serbia” by Lt. Daly, Divisional Intelligence Officer.
16. The Battalion moved by march route to. “ARZIGNANO”.

Church Services were held during the day.
Battalion Route March. Baths.
13. Lecture on “Demobilization.” by Commanding Officer. Lecture on “Italian History” by Capt. Wells. M.C. C.F.
12. Guard Mounting Competition, continued. Interior Economy Competition.
11. Guard Mounting Competition. Baths.
Battalion Parade to witness the distribution of the following medals to recipients of Italian Awards as under:-
Major G.L. Pyman D.S.O. M.C. K.O.Y.L.I. Attached 9th Bn. Y. & L. Regt.
Capt. J.P. Shaw M.C. R.A.M.C. Attached 9th Bn. Y. & L. Regt.

Lt. Col. S.D. Rumbold. D.S.O. M.C.
Lt. R. Stevenson

No 7722 C.S.M. W.H. Cooke
No. 10043 Sgt E. Buxton
No 34895 Sgt S. Forbes . D.C.M. M.M.

No 34668 Corpl. J.L. Vingoe.
No 240880 Pte A. Edwards. M.M.
No 34424 Sgt. M. Dalton

Range Practices. Lecture on the “Colonies.” by “Capt. W.C. Wale. M.C.” Battalion Boxing Tournament.
Church Services during the day. Inspection of Billets by Commanding Officer. The Divisional General presented Medals to recipients of British Awards during the recent operations.
Range Practices. Baths. Brigade Cross Country Run.
Route March. Interior Economy.
5. Rifle and Lewis Gun ranges. Baths. Lecture on (League of Nations) by “Capt A.J. Ellison.”

4. Practice on Rifle and Lewis gun Ranges. Brigade boxing competition.
3. Route March. Lecture on "Civilization's debt to Italy", by Rev. Hudson Shaw.
2. Company training.
1. Church Services were held during the day.

The Battalion Headquarters Company has acquired a typewriter! Instead of being handwritten in pencil, entries are now typed. BL

War Diary - November 1918

note. During the month, the general health of the Battalion was good, the prevailing disease being I.C.T

G.L. Pymm
Commanding 9th Bn. York & Lancaster Regt.

30th Billets and environs were cleaned during the day. The Commanding officer inspected Companies and Detachments.
29th The Battalion marched from MONTECCHIA de CROSARA to S. GIOVANNI, taking over billets from the 11th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment.
28th The day was devoted to interior economy and football.
27th Two Companies practised an advance to-wards an objective (open warfare). The remaining companies were allotted baths.
26th Company and Platoon Drill, Physical drill and games were carried on during the morning. Football was played in the afternoon and a concert in the evening.
25th Battalion route march in the morning. Educational classes commenced.
Beginning to prepare for civilian life? BL
24th Church Services were held during the day.
23rd (Saturday) General holiday for the Battalion. A "victory" dinner was provided for the men. Football was played during the morning , and a concert held in the evening.
At last, some acknowledgment that there was something to celebrate!BL
22nd 'A' Coy fired practices on the rifle range. The remaining Companies carried out training during the morning.
Companies moved into billets vacated by the 8th Bn. York & Lancaster Regiment. Lt Col. S. D. Rumbold D.S.O., M.C. proceeded to take over command of Brigade. Major G.L. Pymm D.S.O., M.C. took over command of the Battalion.
20th Battalion route march in the morning. Football was played in the afternoon.
19th 'C' Coy fired practices on the rifle range. The remaining Companies did a route march during the morning.
18th Company parades during the morning. Football was played in the afternoon.
17th Brigade Church Service near RONCHE, being a special thanksgiving service for victory, conducted by the Rev T. F. James C.J.
The detail of the church service appears to have been added later - in smaller writing.BL
Company parades during the morning.
15th Inspection by the Commanding Officer. A football match was played in the afternoon.
14th The Battalion rested during the day.
13th The Battalion moved by march - route to MONTECCHIA du CROSARA.
12th The Battalion marched to TREVISO station, and entrained for TAVERNELLE at 1700 hours. Billets in TAVERNELLE were occupied for the night.
11th The Battalion marched to CASIER near TREVISO.
10th The battalion moved by march route to VASCON. The Corps Commander, Divisional and Brigade Commanders witnessed the recrossing of the PIAVE from the Bridge-head near PALAZZON.
9th The Battalion moved to billets in SARANO
8th The Battalion moved to billets in ORSAGO.
7th Battalion route march in the morning. A Brigade concert was held in the evening.
5th & 6th Recreational training was carried out in the morning. Football was played in the afternoon.
"Recreational training" ??? BL
4th The armistice with Austria came into force at 15.00 hrs. Billets and environs were improved. A Battalion Concert was held in the evening.
A simple matter-of-fact announcement that was of immense and life-changing importance to these men. No triumphant hyperbole, just a simple statement in the War Diary. I wonder how the men were told and what their reaction was.
It is hard to believe that the fighting is over and the men have to clean up the billets. (No it's not hard to believe, I did some time in the British Army.) BL

3rd Church Services were held in the morning. Football was played in the afternoon.
This is an extraordinary change in conditions. Very welcome. It would appear that the enemy had disappeared over the horizon! BL
2nd The battalion moved by march route to RORAI - pic near PORCIA arriving in billets at 1730 hrs.
Around 5 miles (8Km) progress in a day. Rather different to Flanders. BL
1st The Battalion occupied a line of posts in the N.E. outskirts of SACILE. The Austrians were reported to be retiring across the TAGLIAMENTO.
The Tagliamento river is some 20 miles (32 Km)to the East. Encouraging intelligence. BL

War Diary - October 1918

Total Number of Prisoners captured during operations .....298

Wounded & Sick Prisoners in Hospitals ..............................239

.......................................Grand Total ................... 537

Total of Field Guns captured.................................................42
..."....."..Trench Mortars...."...................................................44...
...".....". .Rifles................. .".................. ............................3000...

Total number of casualties;-

During this month, the health of the Battalion was good, prevailing deseases being;- I.C.T.
(Signed) S D Rumbold
Commanding 9th Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment

At 10.00 hours the Battalion advanced towards SACILE By 12.30 hours we had established a line along the western bank of the LIVENZA but were unable to cross to the eastern side as the bridge had been destroyed and enemy machine-guns in the church steeple , also snipers in houses, kept up incessant fire. After a bombardment of houses etc. by 6" Newton Mortars, Stokes Mortars and Machine Guns, the section of 18 pounders obtained three hits on the church steeple, and no further trouble was caused by hostile machine guns. The pioneers then prepared a bridge over which Companies crossed the LIVENZA - almost in darkness, and by 19.00 hours our objective had been gained: an outpost line was immediately established on the whole front, touch being obtained on either front.
The objective for the Battalion was SACILE. On reaching the ORSAGO - SACILE road at point 47, information was received from the cavalry who were then in SACILE that the enemy had counter- attacked and were advancing towards ORSAGO. This Battalion held the Western bank of the river MESCHIO astride the main road, and the bridge-head at point K65. As the enemy counter- attack did not develop, the Battalion took up a defensive position for the night, manning the western side of the river on the southern side of the ORSAGO - SACILE road. Patrols were sent out towards SACILE during the night. 7 prisoners, 2 small field guns and 8 machine guns were captured. There were no casualties in the Battalion during the day.
29th The Battalion crossed the PIAVE at 0900 hours and commenced the advance towards VASSOLA . On reaching the MONTICANO the Battalion moved forwards to support the 8th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment who were held up by hostile shelling & M G fire. Later in the day the Battalion captured the village of CIMETTA and established a line of posts forward of the CAMPO - CEVARO - BGO di SOPRA road.
About 150 prisoners, 10 machine guns and 2 small field guns were captured. Our casualties numbered only 31.
27th,28th Battalion remained at C. BARCHESSE near CATENA under orders to move at half - an - hours notice.
26th The Battalion marched from S. GIUSEPPE to billets near CATENA.
25th The Battalion returned to Billets at S. GIUSEPPE.
24th The Battalion marched from S. GIUSEPPE to billets at CARITA.
23rd Route march during the morning. At night the Battalion supplied a working party of 400 men to unload shells under orders of C.A.R.O. TREVISO.
The Battalion moved by march route to billets at S. GIUSEPPE near TREVISO.
21st Company Training in Arms Drill, Musketry, Physical Drill and Ceremonial Drill during the morning. Officers reconnoitred the line in the vicinity of PALAZZON.
20th Church Services were held during the day.
19th Owing to exceptionally wet weather, men were confined to billets for the day.
18th The Battalion route marched 15 Kilometres: Men carried full marching order.
Note the distances in Kilometres. Harry would be carrying in excess of 30 Kg. This is the day after his letter reported that the marching "
as just about knocked me out," Tough times. BL
17th The Battalion rested during the day. Billets & environs were cleaned.
16th The Battalion marched from TREVISO to C HOGARIN near TREVIGNANO.
15th The Battalion entrained at THIENE and detrained at TREVISO occupying billets in the latter town for the night.
14th The Battalion marched from CORNEDO to THIENE.
13th Church Services were held during the day.
12th Battalion Tactical Scheme with sections of 18pds Battery, M.G. Battalion and L.T.M Battery attached.
Owing to very wet weather, indoor training was carried out.
10th Platoon and Company training during the morning. Specialist classes were held in the afternoon.
9th Lt Col. S D Rumbold D.S.O. M.C. returned from Brigade and resumed command of the Battalion.
8th The Brigade Rifle Range at MADONETTE was allotted to the Battalion. When not firing practices, companies carried out musketry training in the vicinity of the range.
7th Battalion parade for inspection by the Commanding Officer. Billets and environs were cleaned. Specialist classes were held in the afternoon.
6th The Battalion moved by march route to CORNEDA.
5th The Battalion moved by march route to BEREGENA camp near THIGNE.
3rd, 4th Owing to very wet weather, indoor training was carried out and lectures delivered by O.C's Coys and Detachments.
2nd Platoon and Section training was carried out.
1st The Battalion occupied billets in ST BARTHOLOMEO near VICENZA. Battalion ceremonial Drill, Platoon and Section training was carried out.