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Private Walter Dawson


Harrogate Herald 22nd December 1915

Photo - On Monday the sad news came to the home of Mr and Mrs Robert Dawson, of King Edward's Drive, that their son Walter Dawson had died in hospital from a wound in the thigh. The blow is doubly hard, for only on Friday last a letter was received from him, in which he entertained the hope of being home on Christmas Day. The deepest sympathy of the YMCA members is tendered to his parents and his brother, Fred Dawson, who also was a member of the YMCA. The association is feeling, as perhaps a few associations do, the fearful tragedy of this war, first one and then another of their members giving up their lives for the State, and the thought of the association is deeply moved.

The telegram to the parents announcing the sad news was as follows : "Regret report death of 2235 Private Walter Dawson, 1/5th West Yorks, December 20th, at 22 General Hospital, Wimeraux. Cause, gunshot wound thigh - Territorial Records, York"

[Identical entry in CT - 24th December]


Harrogate Herald - 22nd December 1915

In loving memory of Walter Dawson, son of Robert and Elizabeth Dawson, of 45 King Edward's Drive, Harrogate (of the 1/5th West Yorks), who died at 22 General Hospital, Wimereuse, on December 20th, 1915, of wounds received in action, in his 23rd Year.


Claro Times - 24th December 1915

It is with deep sorrow that I have to take up my pen to bear my humble testimony to the noble work of the late Private Walter Dawson. Only 23 years of age, and yet, what a long number of years' service he has given to the Christian and social work in Harrogate. As a boy of only some 13 or 14 years of age, he became associated with me in the great temperance work that was carried on so successfully for years, known as the Pleasant Wednesday and Saturday Evening Concerts in the Friendly Societies Hall, now the Empire.

Walter, along with his brother Fred, became the accompanists at these Popular Evenings. Always was Walter at his post absolutely to be relied upon, and how willing he was to allow any other accompanist to take his place, and how carefully he studied the younger artistes who so often rendered service at these gatherings! And to this young soldier many of the present-day artistes owe a deep debt of gratitude. All the authors of those Pleasant Evenings join in this appreciation of his kindly help, rendered at an age when most youths are seeking only their own pleasure.

After these concerts closed, he became a regular accompanist at the Bilton Grange Social Club and Adult School Concerts, and was one of the most willing of all accompanists to give of his best services to the YMCA. For a brief period he was organist at the Oatlands Wesleyan Church, and won golden favour in this capacity. His willingness to assist any good cause always voluntarily found for him the love and esteem of a large friendship. And though only 23 years of age when he falls a hero in the fight for his country and one cannot help but feel that in the short number of years he has put a full life-time's service for God and humanity and he that liveth best liveth longest.

Now that he has fallen one can only hope that his noble life's work may be emulated by the young artiste's of today.

From one who worked with him and loved him as a comrade, with deepest and tenderest thoughts for his weeping parents and brother.

A W Angus