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Private Robert H Auton

 
 

Harrogate Herald - 17th January 1917

Letters

Robert H Auton writes : 

Dear Sir, After reading several letters in your last issue, I though a few lines to you might be interesting to others giving an account of our Xmas in "Somewhere" also the question of traders, where some of the boys have not received a Christmas parcel, which is no fault of theirs. In this battalion there are two of us - George Weatherhead and myself - who did not share in the hospitality of your generous subscribers. By the way, I would like to correct the Company I am in. It is D Company. The paper is generally addressed G Company, and as a rule I get it a day later, Sunday evening being the usual time of delivery. Xmas day opened out rather rough, but towards midday it became calmer, and although cold was not inconvenient. Owing to lack of convenience in the village where we happened to be, the Xmas festivities had to be split up on various nights, our company's night being Saturday, December 23rd, 1916, the day being spent in various duties by the company. At five o'clock they sat down to a good dinner consisting of roast pork, apple sauce, potatoes, cabbage, onion stuffing, followed by a nice helping of Xmas pudding and rum sauce, everyone getting a good share and satisfaction. Later in the evening in the village school a concert, the artists being drawn from the company, ended a very pleasant evening, and before retiring for the night we were served with hot coffee and rum. Other companies took their turn, taking nearly a week before the festivities came to an end. We are favoured with some good officers, who look after their men's comfort at all times. I read your letter to the boys every week, and find it very interesting; also we have a lot to be thankful for in having such a champion at home, who studies the wants of the boys from week to week, and not only studies, but whose magnetism supplies those wants, and wins the hearts of the public in Harrogate. The weather out here at present is of a varied type, plenty of high winds and rain, making it very uncomfortable in the trenches and underfoot for marching. We were fortunate to spend Xmas out of the trenches, which made it more pleasant for us, but there were many who did not, and I trust it was made for them as comfortable as possible, of which I have no doubt. We are looking forward, now that the Mother Country has woke up, to a speedy end to this terrible warfare, and once again to return to our homes, having fulfilled the mission entrusted to us. So, if rather late, I wish through you to others a happy New Year.

 

Harrogate Herald - 31st January 1917

Letters

The following are men who have sent us the Army post-card briefly stating that they are well and have received papers and parcels, or whose letters contain views that have repeatedly been expressed by other correspondents, but show their friends that they are all right :

Robert H Auton

 

Harrogate Herald - 7th February 1917

Roll of Honour

Private Robert H Auton, eldest son of Mr H Walls Auton, of Harrogate, has been wounded and is in No 3 General Hospital, France.

 

Harrogate Herald - 25th April 1917

Letters

Robert H Auton writes : 

After many weeks at various addresses I have found the Herald following on, but as now I am back with the battalion you might revert to the first address. The Herald affords me many hours of reading whilst in hospital, convalescent camp and base before here. Before proceeding further, I should like to express my thanks to the

Red Cross Institution for the many kindnesses shown to me whilst in their care, the smooth working of which is a marvel of organisation and a lasting debt to the British Tommy. To be between clean and white linen was heaven after leaving the trenches, and the few weeks rest was a Godsend indeed, although through the winter I never suffered from cold feet until I emerged from hospital. Prior to going in we had some trouble in respect to the weather. Water frozen, sometimes days without being able to wash; even bread and bully beef in the tins were frozen, so severe it was. after a week or two at the base I was returned to duty, and after a short time in the trenches we are out on rest for a few days, so the opportunity of writing a few lines I seized. I am better of the wound, but my nerves are very shaky yet, but hope to improve as time goes on. Today our division has completed two years' service, and now naturally all are asking "How long" before the dawn? George Weatherhead and Lance Corporal Bailes are still here and fit. I had the pleasure of meeting Sergeant Chris Topham last night, and had a cheery talk with him. At the base I found my old pal Jack Baxter still busy with the mails for the boys, and he is in the pink. Economy being the watchword at present, I will close. With kindest regards.

 

Harrogate Herald - 30th May 1917

Letters

Robert H Auton writes : 

For give me intruding on your space so soon, but I have been asked by several of our local lads who are serving out here to approach you with a view to securing, through your kind readers, if possible, a cricket set to while away a few leisure hours these summer evenings whilst out of the trenches. A gift of that kind would be greatly appreciated by them. Perhaps amongst the many clubs round about a set of some description could be made up. Now we see the country looking at its best. Sometimes in the early mornings, when the birds are singing all around you, you forget for the moment the terrible struggle raging all round you, until a smell of some description brings you back you realities. I noticed a pal, David Johnson, of Scotton, wounded in this week's issue. I am sorry, and hope it is not serious, for he was one of the best. Without further trespass I close with kindest regards.

 

Harrogate Herald - 28th November 1917

W H Breare letter

Private Robert Auton, of the West Yorks, eldest son of Mr H W Auton, is home on leave and came to see me. Whilst at the Front he was slightly wounded in the head in January, but is about right now. Tom Bailes, who was killed in October, was with him in his lot, also George Weatherhead, of Starbeck, who was wounded. Alf Brown's son, of Regent Avenue, is also in his company. Auton's brother is in Salonica. Had malaria, but returned to his battery. Later, Auton came in to tell me that since he was at my office his dear mother has died. He was anxious to obtain an extension of leave for the funeral, and so I have written him a letter testifying to the death of his mother as witness that this was a bona-fide case deserving of consideration.

 

Harrogate Herald - 26th December 1917

W H Breare letter

Robert H Auton writes me, upon arriving back safely "somewhere", "I was thankful to you for your aid in getting me the extension of my leave owing to the sad occasion of the loss of my dear mother".

 

Harrogate Herald - 13th March 1918

The following are men who have sent us the Army post-card thanking Mr W H Breare for the Harrogate Herald, and briefly stating that they are well and have received papers and parcels, or those whose letters do not contain anything of special interest :

Robert H Auton

 

Harrogate Herald 24th April 1918

The following have sent postcards thanking for the Herald and stating they are well :

Robert H Auton

 

Harrogate Herald - 30th November 1921

Memorial tablet in porch of the Dragon Road Methodist Church : Full article at War Memorials

The following names appear after the 15 names of those killed.

These are the names of members of the church who fought in the war, and returned :

A H Annakin, A B Annakin, R H Auton, E R Barf, T Barker, W Benson, W Blakey, A G Bolton, C Brown, O Chippindale, J Crossley, D Cuthbert, C R [H ?] Dawson, W Featherstone, H Foxald, P Gale, H Grant, J P Grant, T Grant, J H Halstead, R Halstead, H Hevysides, E G Hodges, E Horn (Sapper), E Horn (Trooper), G W Holland, A E Houseman, G Hood, C H Hunter, G Ince, J Ince, F Ingleson, B Joy, J W P Joy, H H King, E Long, F Lyon, H Mann, H Midgeley, R Middleton, S M Mitchell, F R Mitchell, H Naylor, H Newport, A E Pearson, H C Pilsworth, W Preston, F V Preston, C E Preston, R Rayner, B M Rayner, H A Robinson, J Robinson, E Robinson, G F Roberts, G Rowling, G Scales, H Shepherd, J G Shepherd, C E Smith, J W Suggitt, J Summerscales, J Sunderland, B A Town, N Town, G Thackway, A Ward, H Ward, F Weighill, W A Whittaker, W Waddington, V Younger.

 

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