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Corporal James F Forth


Harrogate Herald - 25th April 1917

W H Breare letter

I have a letter from Corporal J H Forth, who tells me he is almost too weak to write, and is still in hospital, where he has remained since March 24th. He has not been up yet, and is still in bed. His temperature is up, therefore he has nothing to eat, but is kept going on brandy. Forth thinks it is fever he has but he cannot get to know. He is in good hands, he declares, and well cared for. Keep your heart up, Forth, and you will win through by sheer willpower which may otherwise be interpreted - abiding faith in Providence.


Harrogate Herald - 9th May 1917


Corporal J H Forth writes : 

I have been in hospital just over a month with enteric and typhoid fevers, so you can guess what I have had to put up with. I have been in bed a month and never been up, and it was a near thing with me once over, but thanks to the kindness and good attention of the doctor and nurses who looked after me fine and gave me every comfort and attention, I pulled through. I had nothing at all to eat for three weeks, and was kept going with brandy, milk and eggs. I was in a hospital called the 26th, but a week ago they put me on the ambulance train and moved me over 100 miles to where I am now. I am pleased to say I am going on nicely, and allowed up for an hour a day. When I first got up I thought I could walk, but I though someone had cut my legs off by the feeling. I came alone on the ambulance train, 3.5 hours run without a stop, and one of the finest trains than can be built - all electric lighted and corridors, and the Red Cross nurses came round with cigs, oranges, tea; in fact, anything you fancied. I can tell you the British Red Cross is one of the finest institutions ever raised. We travelled through the cultivated parts of Egypt on the way, and I saw lots of corn cut and others harvesting. It was mostly barley, and only saw one lot of wheat, and it reminded one of dear old England. The are ploughing the stubble in some parts. They use buffaloes and a light wood plough. Talk about a sorting! The Turks got one at Gaza. They cannot make out what is coming when the caterpillars keep on creeping. There were a lot of wounded on the train. I was next to one poor chap. A bullet had gone in his throat close to his jugular vein and clean through between his shoulders. He seem cheerful, but he was vexed because he did not get a shot back after the Turks knocked him out. Goodbye, with best wishes. PS - I had a letter from Driver Jack McLoughlin, and he is all right, but I don't know where he is. I know he is somewhere near the Turks.


Harrogate Herald - 13th February 1918


Corporal James H Forth writes : 

There are six of us, including a Sergeant and myself, in Palestine. Where I am is lovely and fertile, and a lot of the natives are returning to their so-called homes, and commencing to cultivate the land. Some have got corn up, and settling down in peace again. But oh! They are such thieves; they will steal anything. Some of them plough with camels, others with a cow and a donkey combined, and they are very poor, always asking for food. Do you know if Private Willis Taylor, of Starbeck, who was missing, has been heard of, as he worked with me on the NER? I should be pleased if you would remember me to Private George Chatter, Grenadier Guards, who is in France, through your paper, as it is a long time since he wrote me. Some wonderful changes have taken place out here since I last wrote you, but all on our side. With best wishes to you and for your paper. Where I am in Turkey I should not see one but for the Herald and the News of the World, which I get, too.

Copyright 2004, 2005 Harrogate Historical Society