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Sig A Coning


Claro Times - 24th September 1915

Signaller A Coning, of the machine gun section of the 9th West Yorkshire Regiment, writes to Mr W Cawood, Station Parade, Harrogate, to inform him that he is in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force :

"I am in the best of health at present", he says, "although we have had a rough month of it, and some very hard fighting to do, but thank God, I have not had a scratch yet, but have had some very near shaves. We have been on here for a month now. As soon as we stepped on shore we were under rapid fire, and a good many got knocked out there. We had to attack with fixed bayonets, and not fire a shot, and you should have seen our lads run them out of it. I don't think many of the Turks got away from us. When daylight broke the sight was terrible, what with our men wounded and the enemy shelling us. I cannot describe the feeling I had for the first time under shell fire. By night time we had just about got used to their shells, and have been under a lot worse since then, and not taken much notice of it. The only thing we wish for is for them to make an attack, but they won't have it; they seem frightened, and at night time they will open rapid fire as if they were afraid we are going to attack them. When you get at them withy the bayonet, they scream and run like mad, but they are good fighters if they are defending a position. I think we can give them a whacking, but it will want men, and plenty too.

Last night when my chum and I were sitting in front of our dug-out getting a little supper, and all was quiet, they sent a shell over just behind us, and before we had got down they were flying around our place, but no harm was done to us. They caught it further back, and the Turks went on with shells and rapid fire for long enough. I don't know whether they tried to attack us or not, but if they did they were driven back".

Coning asks to be remembered to all the staff at the Harrogate Railway Station, where he was formerly employed as a signalman.


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