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Private B C Exley


Harrogate Herald - 15th December 1915

Private B C Exley says : 

As you will see, we have left Egypt and come to Greece. We have been here about a month, and the weather is terribly cold. Today it is snowing very hard and freezing. The washing water is all covered with ice. It is a very big change from Egypt, and all the boys are feeling it very much. The scenery here is very beautiful and very much like Wales. We are surrounded with high mountains, and the wind blows fearfully cold from them and penetrates the tents, so you will have an idea what we are going through. We shall all be pleased when it is all over and we can get back home again. There are beautiful sunsets here; the sky is every colour one can think of. As we have no recreation here whatsoever, I am taking the liberty of asking you to send me a football on behalf of the boys of the 29th DAP. I am sure it will be very much appreciated, and will be the cause of many pleasant games for the boys. We are doing a lot of our work at nights at present, and have the days to ourselves, and a football would be just the thing we want. We are at present stationed at Salonica. The roads are in a dreadful condition, but are getting repaired. The food we are getting consists of bully-beef and biscuits, but with all these hardships the boys of the company are all merry and bright. It is marvellous how cheerful they keep considering the circumstances. Again wishing the Herald every success.

(We are forwarding Private Exley a football - Ed)


Harrogate Herald - 22nd December 1915

W H Breare letter

Private B C Exley wants a football. I am not sure whether it is an Association or a Rugby he requires. At any rate, I have a nice Rugby, and I shall see that he gets it so far as it lies in my power.


Harrogate Herald - 17th January 1917

Writing from Salonica, E Ruddy says : 

I don't remember the last time you heard from me, but I think it was about the time of the first battle of Ypres. Since then I was sent home for repairs, overhauled, and sent out to France again. Then I was invalided home once more, and when I was patched up I was sent out to Salonica. Now I am with the Serbian Army in the Balkans. Some of the road are awful, and the mountains would make one makes of carts give up the ghost. We are going right across the old battlefields that we used to read about, but never thought to see. The Serbians are very nice chaps to get on with, and will do anything for our men. The Greeks are the biggest rogues living, but Tommy takes a lot of doing. We don't see many British troops on our Front, but all the same things are lively. You will notice we took Monastir from the Bulgars. That was some job, I can tell you. In the summer this country is a white man's grave. We have had lots of our fellows 'in dock' with malaria and dysentery, and they take a lot of pulling round again. I myself don't ail much and keep very fit. Some of these old Turkish villages look very nice from a distance, but when we get to them they are far from it. The men and women look as if they never washed in their lives, and how they live I don't know. Most of the carting and heavy work is done by oxen. Take it all round, Macedonia will have to change its ways, and if the British stop here long they will see it's done. The mountains are covered with snow, and we are expecting some tonight. When I tell you we are in tents you will be surprised. It is very cold now, and the wind carried a NCO's mess away today. In the days of peace I did not care about the weather, so long as it did not rain in bed, but now it does rain in bed, and still we have to grin. If one mentions it, the sergeant gently reminds you that you are on active service. If the beef is raw, the cooks tell you they are on active service. I am never likely to forget it for some time. War has its drawbacks, so has civil life when you come to weigh it up. They can't "sack" a chap in the Army, anyway. My pal says he wishes they would "sack" him and send him to Blighty. I met a chap last week who worked on one of Bell's taxis. He had the special service medal given him by the Crown Prince of Serbia. I also met Walt Voakes and Exley at Salonica, but that is some time ago. Walt looked as fat and strong as usual. I've seen an officer out here whom I have seen at home, but can's name. Perhaps you will know who it is. They are all with the British, and we don't meet now, worse luck. Do you hear from "Sos" Parsons, who went to France with me? I should like to hear from him. Billy Bell, Parsons, Calvert, Judd, and myself all joined the Army the same day. I wonder shall we ever meet again. If you have a razor, safety or otherwise, I should be pleased if you would let me have one. Three of us use the same one now, and it is awkward. Also if you have a single string fiddle to send us, the boys would be no end grateful. Now I must conclude with best wishes, also wishing you a happy New Year.


Harrogate Herald - 3rd October 1917

Roll of Honour

News was received on Saturday by Mrs P Exley, of Skipton Street, Harrogate, that her husband, who had been severely wounded in the chest a few days before, was in a very critical condition. Later in the day came the news of his death. Before joining up in March last he had been in the employ of the Harrogate & District Co-operative Society for about ten years as manager of their tailoring department, in which position his services had been much esteemed. He was 35 years of age and leaves a widow and one child.


Harrogate Herald 23rd June 1920

30 Skipton Street, Harrogate

June 21st, 1920

Mr Breare

Dear Sir, Having read "Our Soldiers' Tribute" in last week's Herald, I wish you to accept my small contribution to the War Memorial, this being in loving memory of my dear husband, who fell in the great war. Many thanks to those ex-Servicemen and yourself for your very kind thoughts and splendid idea of such a suitable memorial to our fallen, for it is a pleasure to know that they are not forgotten by all.

Yours faithfully,

L Exley

PS Enclosed please find 3.


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