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Sergeant Harry Botterill


Harrogate Herald - 3rd January 1917

Sergeant K Birkinshaw writes : 

Dear Mr Breare, You may guess how pleased I am at present when I tell you under what circumstances I received the Herald this time. You will no doubt remember I used to receive it every week when out in this country before, and pleased I was to read the news of the dear old town. This time I happened to be on guard and my brother, who is QMS in the Machine Gun Corps had just brought me the Herald in. I was reading the story of Mis Olive Yeates while my brother was in my company. He was very grieved when I told him how it happened. I was at Hedon when the accident occurred, and on the day of the funeral I was at home in Harrogate, where I heard the sad news from my dear mother. Both brother and I knew Olive well, and we send our deepest sympathy to Mr & Mrs Yeates. It is perhaps a strange coincidence, but quite natural, that I should notice the misprint in the Herald, as you give Miss Yeates address as my home address, 2 Cheltenham Mount - Crescent I believe it should be. I had to read it over once or twice again to realise the mistake, it being so familiar. Now that I am out here once again, I am getting settled down to my old style and am prepared for whatever happens, taking everything on the bright side as they say. I can tell you it was a pleasant reunion for my brother and myself, though out of the country. The last time I saw him was in the early part of 1915, when I left my father and he at Rugeley Station when I came out here. Awhile after my brother came out, but I never saw him at that time. As you know, I returned to England during the Somme on July 4th, and as I came back here only four days ago I made enquiries after him and was lucky enough to meet him last Wednesday night. You may just imagine my joy and our chat of our experiences and the old town. I was sorry my brother-in-law, Harry Botterill, who is in the same regiment, was not with him, but I read his letter in the Herald, and am glad to hear that he is like myself, quite well. Kindly give him my best wishes, as I cannot write him, not knowing his address. I am glad to hear that CSM G Ince is still going strong and keeping well. Kindly tell him I hope that I come across him. I would like his address if you could possibly give it to me. I wish him and all the Harrogate boys the very best of wishes. While my brother and I are together the Herald that he receives will do for us both, as he has promised to bring it to me when he gets it. But in time we unfortunately will be parted for a while, and then I will be pleased to continue to receive it every week as before, as I can assure you that nothing is more pleasant for the boys out here than the news of the home town. Many thanks to the sender of the Herald. Wishing him and all a very merry Xmas, hoping you are in the best of health as this leaves me the same.

(Let us have your address when your brother leaves you and we will send on the Herald again - Ed)


Harrogate Herald - 10th January 1917

In a letter to Mr W H Breare, expressing thank for the Herald, and commenting on the terrible weather, Sergeant H Botterill adds : 

We will have to put up with these little troubles, because there are better times in store. The Huns keep venturing over in their aeroplanes, but they get strafed when they come. We have had a fine time this Xmas, and I hope all in Harrogate have had the same. So will close now, wishing you all the happiness in the coming year.