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Sapper G C Armstrong


Harrogate Herald - 6th February 1918

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Recovered - Sapper G C Armstrong, Royal Engineers, of 4 Bilton Lane, Harrogate, after long service, contracted trench fever, has recovered, and is now in Egypt. He was on the Aragon when she was torpedoed.


Harrogate Herald - 6th February 1918

Two Starbeck men on torpedoed transport.

Sapper G C Armstrong, Royal Engineers, who was formerly employed on the North Eastern Railway at Starbeck, and whose home is now at 4 Bilton Lane, Harrogate, was on the transport Aragon that was torpedoed in the Eastern Mediterranean on December 30th, but after a long swim he was picked up, and reached his destination - Egypt - no worse for his exciting experience. Another Starbeck was on the ship, but Armstrong had heard nothing as to this man's whereabouts. Sapper Armstrong joined the colours a month after the declaration of war, and went to Cornwall for training. After other movements he was transferred to the Royal Engineers. He was sent to France as a locomotive driver about a year ago, where he contracted trench fever at the latter part of last year, and after a period in hospital in Bradford recovered. Following the customary sick leave he was sent to Borden Camp, and embarked for Egypt at the beginning of December, and was fortunate to be one of those that escaped after the aforementioned disaster.

It appears the other man was Private Alban Johnson, youngest son of Mr William Johnson, of Crimple, who has been notified by the authorities that his son was among those who were drowned. Private Johnson was a driver on the NER prior to enlisting. After a period of training at Borden Camp, he was attached to the ROD, with the intention of following his occupation on one of the fronts, his relatives understanding that he was on his way to Italy.


Harrogate Herald - 27th February 1918

Sergeant A Waddington writes : 

I have just been having a look at the Harrogate Herald, and I am sorry to see by a letter that I have lost a big pal of mine, Sapper Albion Johnson, of Crimple, who met his death whilst crossing to Egypt on the Aragon, which was torpedoed. We were both cleaners and firemen at Starbeck Loco., previous to me joining the West Riding Police Force, and I send his parents my deepest sympathy in their loss. And Sapper G C Armstrong, the one who was saved, was transferred to the ROD, Royal Engineers, the same time as myself last year, and came to France on a draft previous to our company coming overseas. I would be greatly obliged if you could get me his address, so as I could write to him, as we were mates with both coming from Harrogate and were in the same hut together at Longmoor. I am hoping to meet some Harrogate lads this next week, as I hear some West Yorks are coming to a camp near our loco yard. I had bad luck in not seeing them when up our way a month ago.


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