Harrogate Herald - 14th November 1917
W H Breare letter
It is not often that I have a visit from one of our jolly tars,
so I was all the more pleased to see Seaman H Calver, of HMS
Royalist. He is a son of Sergeant and Mrs Calver. I was sorry
to hear from the boy that the father had been gassed and was now in
hospital at Boulogne. It was the "mustard" gas he got, and
his eye-sight more than anything has been affected. Seaman Calver
I identified at once. Before me stood a fine , strong, stout fellow
with beaming round face, rosy cheeks and hair clinging close to his
head in ringlets of that rich red, the possession of which is the
glory of some fair women. I had not seen him since he was a chubby
boy, with a butcher's basket on his arm, arrayed in a smock. But I
noted him then and made up my mind that here was a lad who would
make good, very good. Lots of you chaps who know Harrogate will have
seen him. I want to tell you a remarkable incident, which, by the
way, is by no means uncommon. Providence is very good to you lads in
the matter of those things which make up the sum of your comforts.
Early on Monday morning a mother of a soldier came to ask if she
could get a razor for her boy. It so happened I had not one in
stock. A few minutes after, by post, came quite a large parcel from Dan
Godfrey, conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. This
contained a fine collection of razors - two beauties with white
handles and other serviceable ones. The good mother got her razor.
My friend Calver happened to let slip that he had lost his,
and so I was able to give him, too, one of Dan Godfrey's. Now
don't you think this remarkable? Yet it is continually happening.
That is why I say Providence is very good to you.