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Gunner A Brain


Harrogate Herald - 19th September 1917

W H Breare letter

I interrupted my dinner that day so that I shouldn't turn away three soldiers from the Front on leave who had called to see me. It was a merry trio I conducted to my office, in order to make a few notes.

This lad seemed to enjoy the prospect of going out to meet you chaps. The third soldier was Gunner John Herrington, of the RFA, son of Mrs Herrington, 3 Denmark Terrace. He has been out for 15 months and was wounded at St Eloi on the 21st May. When he came to see me he was just out of hospital on ten days' sick leave and then was for his depot. Gunner A Brain was with him in his division, and he, too, is now on leave. He sent a nice message to me by Herrington. Brain is a Mons hero, one of the original who went out in August 1914. I mentioned some time ago that Herrington had three wounds. All these boys were looking well and they were jolly as sand boys. We had a merry meeting.


Harrogate Herald - 21st November 1917

Gunner A Brain writes : 

Having been the recipient of your weekly journal, viz., the Harrogate Herald, for the past three years, I cannot allow further time to elapse without taking the opportunity of expressing my heartfelt thanks to you for your continual thought, and the consistency and regularity with which you send the above-mentioned journal. On my visit to England on ten days' leave I paid you a visit, but having met with failure, I left a note to that effect, which I trust you received on your return. One cannot help but think of the enormous benefits derived through the Herald by the boys out here, and I am sure I should be voicing the opinion of thousands of others, who, like myself, are in continual receipt of the local paper, in saying how greatly we appreciate all that is being done for us and our comrades in the Navy, to ensure comfort and good health, to say nothing of the enjoyment which is also given. Reluctant as I am to do so, I wish to make a request which I know you will only be too pleased and ready to grant if circumstances allow - that is, I am in great need of a black mackintosh, seeing that the rough elements which we oftimes experience are such that the Army clothing cannot resist; and it is only that my need is urgent and very necessary which induces me to encroach upon the kindness of the donors of these gifts. Trusting that this war will not last much longer, and wishing every success to the good old Herald, its staff, and Editor.


Harrogate Herald - 5th December 1917

Driver G Mathers writes : 

I must than you for the magazines you sent me a little while ago. They help to pass the nights away. You will be well aware that we cannot go out very far, and even if we did there is nothing to see but a few old ruins now, so all we have to do after we have done our day's work is to go in the billet and sit and read to pass the time away. I daresay you will be pleased to hear that I came across one Harrogate lad the other day. It was one of Brain's lads, of Smithy Hill. We went to the old Smithy Hill School together, so you can guess we had a good time. He is in the RFA, and not very far away from me, so I am hoping to see him again very soon. I am sorry to see in the papers that so many of the Harrogate boys have fallen in the last few months. There are a lot I knew when I went to school that have paid their last tribute to their country.