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Harrogate Herald - 7th June 1916

"Billy" Bell writes : 

Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well, with nothing much to grumble about, also to thank you for the Herald, which arrives regularly. Since being home on my last leave our column is working much nearer the firing line and are parked well within range of the shells. Some of our lorries have had narrow escapes, but luckily we have suffered no casualties. It is the gas that makes us feel nervous, and in the last attack, when our division suffered so heavily, we could not see across the road, it was so thick. As a result two of our men were sent to base hospital. Occasionally I have carried mining parties up to trenches during the night, and it was on one of these trips that I learnt of my cousin Jimmy's death, not knowing that he belonged to that company at all. It was a shock to me, and the same night had a narrow escape myself from a sniper. Unknowingly my mate and I were strolling about "suicide corner" near Loos, when four bullets came in quick succession, one passing between our heads. Needless to say we scattered and felt very thankful we had suffered no hurt. Last night my brother Don called to see me on his way home on leave, and we spent about two hours together. I wished I was coming, too, for Harrogate must be looking well just now, but I must wait two or three months yet before my turn comes. I have come across a few Harrogate chaps lately, including Tommy Womack, Arthur Bradley, Ambler, and one or two more whose names I forget. Well, I must close, hoping you are keeping well yourself, also for every success to the Herald. With kind regards. Please remember me to my friends in the Herald buildings.


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