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Gunner Leonard B Ferguson


Harrogate Herald - 26th December 1917

W H Breare letter

It was an unusual bustle handing out Blinded Soldiers' collecting envelopes to lady volunteers, dealing out ???? to mothers and wives of soldiers at the Front, answering enquiries as to Major Kelley's fund for widows and children of dead heroes, replying to pressing questions of members of our staff, that a tall, stout soldier, looking as hard as iron, with the exception of the soft smile that played o'er his countenance, nearly filled the doorway. I looked at him and queried, "Your name?", "Ferguson", was the reply. Would you believe it. I had known the man ever since he was a toddling child, but such a transformation in him made recognition for that moment impossible. He was Gunner L B Ferguson, Royal Garrison Artillery, Siege Battery, son of my friend, Mr William Ferguson, of Lawrence and Hall's. "Lenny!", I exclaimed, for that was the name which started in his babyhood, and I always think of him as Lenny. I soon found a chair for him, finished with my little crowd, and then had a good chat. I said, "Were you ever better in your life?". He replied, "Never", and he looked it. It really is marvellous what military life does for the boys. In the course of our conversation he told me that J Layfield, who, I believe, is a Pateley man, was in his battery. He had seen very few Harrogate lads, and had not been sick or wounded. I learnt that his brother, Willie, whom you will remember perhaps was at Mr Charles Walker's, Parliament Street, had got over to France. Much of our talk was personal, and so I can only add how glad I was to see Ferguson.


Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918


W T ???, RGA, writes : I enjoy your letter and all letters from the boys. There are not many Harrogate chaps near us. I never meet any. I see by the Herald G W Sawbridge has got back to the line. He seems to be amongst the Harrogate lads. Jack Whitehead, he mentions, will be my cousin, I think, of the ASC. Jim Whitehead is in England. We had some reinforcements to our battery and one chap belongs to Starbeck, so I hand the Herald to him. His name is Hawke, and his father is a driver on the NER. I was glad to read in your letter that L Ferguson had been over and was well. I knew him and his brother when they had the fruit shop near your works.


Harrogate Herald - 13th February 1918


Gunner W E Ferguson writes : 

I saw by the Herald my brother Leonard called to see you when on leave. I have not been lucky enough to get to know exactly where he is; he may not be far away from me, but finding friends is a job out here. Well, I have been out here seven weeks about now, and we have had some weather and mud, I can tell you. The battery I trained with was broken up, along with four or five ??????? sent to a base here as reinforcements. I struck very lucky, and was sent to ----- Siege Battery, and the first man I saw when I got to the battery was one of my best friends in civil life, named Watson. He nearly fell off the earth when he saw me. I was pleased, I can tell you, and so was he. He will be home on leave shortly. Well, it is marvellous how all the boys stick it out here and come up smiling every time. It is a bit of a sensation the first time under fire, which I got first day with the battery. I was pleased to read of the success of your son Mr Lynn.


Harrogate Herald - 27th March 1918

W H Breare letter

Mr Ferguson has had a letter from his son Lennie, and in it he says he was passing some troops and shouted out, "Hello! Harrogate". Someone responded, and Ferguson shouted, "Got a Harrogate paper?" The passer-by replied, "Yes, get it every week from Mr Breare". You know how unexpected and casual are the meetings with Harrogate boys at the Front. They are amongst your most cheerful experiences, are they not?


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