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Driver E Darley


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

Driver E Darley, Langthorpe, Boroughbridge, writes from France :

November 29th, 1915

I have been out in France these past four months, and every week have been receiving your most appreciated and valuable paper, which I may say helps to remind me of home and the old country. The short time I have been at the Front I have had some exciting moments. I am attached to a howitzer battery, which I may say is a splendid one (and the Germans know that). On the 2nd September we had a terrible time, being under shell fir for 36 hours, and my chum was seriously wounded. He dropped to the ground with a groan, poor fellow; he was in a terrible state. I rushed to his side, and with the help of two other gunners brought him safely out of the Huns' most terrible shell fire. We had a rather difficult task to bring him in, but we were determined, and with great risk to the three of us rescuers, we succeeded. We don't care a ---- about the Huns and their poisonous shells. We can beat them every time, but we have another enemy - Mr Winter. It is bitterly cold out here, but we don't mind as long as we beat the "pork butchers". Our staff found for our battery an excellent position, and the guns had to be dug in immediately, so I volunteered to help the gunners. We goy our guns dug in before the enemy spotted us, and when we got into action we gave them it hot.

Far, far from Albert I should like to be,

Where German snipers cannot snipe at me;

Dark is my dug-out, cold are my feet,

I'm longing for someone to sing me to sleep.

Would any kind lady or gentleman send us drivers a melodeon or some other musical instrument to while away a little dreary time.


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915


Two gramophones are wanted at the front. Can any of my readers oblige? The 8th Royal North Lancasters are wishful to have a number of mouth organs. The cost is but a shilling each, so I am in hope many friends will be able to come forth and contribute them. Captain Foote, son of our beloved Vicar of St Peter's, has made the appeal to me through his people. I am sure we shall all be glad to do what we can in this matter for the soldiers and at the same time to show our regard for Captain Foote and his family. Driver E Darley is in need of a melodeon for his comrades. I have had letters from the Front full of gratitude for the musical instruments that have been sent them so far. I am told that some of the marches would never have been so successful and the work so much lightened, had it not been for the cheering strains of these instruments. This fact will be an additional incentive to my generous readers to make further efforts on our boy's behalf. I would again impress upon donors the necessity of allowing their names to go forth to the boys at the Front. This knowledge adds value and interest to the kind acts. The fact is so well understood that no contributor need feel that he or she is in danger of the charge of seeking notoriety. This concession is one of sacrifices we ought to be able to make.