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Private Wilfrid Dickinson


Harrogate Herald - 7th February 1917

W H Breare letter

This is a young, fit man's war. I have heard that the military place most reliance on boys from 19 to 25. I can understand it, and experience proves they are right. All the boys within these ages I have seen have taken very kindly to the severe training recruits get, and are quite buoyant and happy under it. Only on Thursday Private Wilfred Dickinson came in to see us. You will remember that I mentioned that he was our last apprentice to be called up. He is on his last leave after eight weeks' training. When he left us he was a thin youth, looking not particularly robust. When he cam in on Thursday I saw a much thicker set - straighter, and more alert individual. He is perfectly happy in his training, and, though this is his last leave, I do not imagine that he will be hurried to the firing line. I was pleased to notice the excellence of the material of his uniform. It is really fine stuff, and convinces me that the authorities are out for the best. This cheerfulness of the youngest soldier is very reassuring, even comforting to us.


Harrogate Herald - 28th March 1917

W H Breare letter

I have also had Private Wilfred Dickinson's mother in, who tells me that her son is for India. If you remember, Dickinson was one of our apprentices, and the last of our men to be called up. He cannot have had much time for training, and I presume he will get it out there. He will find India a very interesting country, and I think is lucky to be sent in that direction.


Harrogate Herald - 1st August 1917

W H Breare letter

Private W Walker, of the Beechwood lot, is a son of Mr & Mrs E Walker of 15 Avenue Street, Starbeck. He was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel on May 3rd, and for the time being has lost the use of the muscles on the right arm. He has been in hospital at Liverpool, but is now, I am glad to say, at Beaulieu, one of our Harrogate Military Hospitals, which perhaps you will remember as being situated in West End Park. While at Liverpool, Walker met Private Pacey, who used to drive for Balmforth. Walker, who went out in January, expressed his thanks for the cigarettes kind friends sent him through me. When he arrived in Harrogate he saw Lupton and Sergeant Croft, both of whom are home for commissions. He likewise told me he saw the two Greetham boys. of Starbeck, were home - one from France, the other from Aldershot. Rather lucky to be home together, isn't it? When Walker got his hurt, he experienced something that seemed like a dispensation of Providence. He was moving breast on the enemy, when "something within", he says, told him to turn round. He did so. It was just at that moment he received the bullet in his shoulder. Had he been facing the other way he would have got it in the heart, what is termed his "billet". He did not get away from the field for two hours. I was interested to hear from him that Wilfred Dickinson, one of our Herald staff, is in India. When Walker enlisted he had been two years with Grayson's. Before that he was employed on the railway.


Harrogate Herald - 6th February 1918

Photo Page - Local Lads on Active Service

Private W Dickinson, Somerset Light Infantry, Forest Avenue, Starbeck