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Gunner Harry Gill


Harrogate Herald - 16th May 1917

W H Breare letter

We have a linotype machine standing idle, because we have lost the man who worked it before he was called up for the Army. That same man is now Gunner W Wiley, of the RGA, stationed with a battery in Scotland. He went there after a fortnight at Ripon. Wiley came in to see me this morning, and I was glad to hear him say he was "never better" and enjoying the life. His comrades include H Gill, who was formerly employed at Mr A Preston's picture frame shop in Oxford Street; A Bell, of New Park, who worked at Standing's; and Wood, Oatlands Mount, formerly employed at the Post Office, West Park; Robson, another Harrogate lad, was with Wiley in another battery. Wiley's military experience has certainly improved his physical appearance. He is as straight as a die, and looks the picture of health. It is gratifying when the boys take to it like that, isn't it? his linotype machine is still idle, for it is impossible to get a new hand. That machine standing idle is costing us 300 a year; still we do not grumble. We have all to do our bit, in our various ways.


Harrogate Herald - 13th June 1917

W H Breare letter

A H G Gill, who worked at Preston's picture frame shop, a pal of Wiley's, is also here on leave. Harry Wiley, brother of above, has been "out" a fortnight. He worked with us on the Monotype - the machine that casts the new typo. Herald boys will know Crawford, who works on the same machine. He is off work, not being very well.


Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918

H Gill says : 

I have had the Herald sent out here regularly from home, and came across a letter from W A Ballance, a school chum of mine, inquiring for my address. I had written him, as he remarks, without giving any address, as I knew he had it. I should feel pleased if, through the medium of your paper or by means most convenient to yourself, you would inform him that I have been in the 2nd Canadian General Hospital since the 10th December with a somewhat severe illness contracted whilst up the line, and I am now in a convalescent camp preparatory to rejoining my company. During the last six or seven months I have seen a good bit of France and Belgium, and met a good few local lads on different parts of the line, notably the good old Beechwood party. Laurie Heap was in the same division as myself, and being old friends we had many pleasant hours together, but unfortunately he was wounded and badly burnt by a gas shell when we went into a very hot stunt just over three months ago. During the last attack we were in I also came across a brother of the late Lieutenant Garnett, and managed to exchange a few words with him. It may be of interest to old friends of Sergeant C D Longfield, whose father, I believe, was formerly stationmaster at Starbeck, to know he has been in this company since February last - he was Corporal until last October. We often talk about mutual acquaintances Greetham and "Toby" Hodgson and Jesse Coleman and I thought they might like to know his whereabouts. He is a cousin to the Makins, of Elmwood Street, one of whom won the DCM and was afterwards killed. I had hoped to go to hear Miss Lena Ashwell's Concert Party when I came out of the line, but was prevented by my illness. I was anxious to see Mr Gordon Williams, as I often used to take part in his concert work several years ago. We have had a glorious Christmas in hospital, and I assure you I shall go back to the boys feeling considerably "bucked" thereby. Please accept my very best wishes for the New Year.


Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918

W H Breare letter

To H Gill : We sent Driver W A Ballance your address privately as requested.


Harrogate Herald - 30th January 1918

Harry Gill writes : 

I must say I have had a great time at Xmas in hospital (after having looked forward, not very gleefully, to Xmas in the trenches during last year). I came down the line on 10th December, and so have had a good six weeks' respite. Being somewhat fed up with France and Belgium, I am feeling both curious and enthusiastic about my new departure. As I have at least an elementary knowledge of Italian, I am hoping to make rapid progress in the study of the language! At my present camp we have ex-Bombardier Wells, the heavyweight champion of Great Britain, and I am looking forward to seeing him in an exhibition contest to be held in an adjacent cinema tomorrow night.


Harrogate Herald - 20th March 1918

Writing from Italy, Gunner H Gill says : 

I am writing to ask you if you can give me any information as to the whereabouts of J R Dawson, who was interned in Germany at the outbreak of war, and was for a considerable time at a concentration camp in Ruhleben. He was a schoolmate of mine at the Harrogate Secondary School, and when he went to Germany into a business house we were in correspondences until the outbreak. I heard from him once after that, and replied, but since then have lost touch with him. His people, I believe, are still in Harrogate, and when I last heard of them lived in the vicinity of King's Road. Please accept my thanks for the prompt manner in which you informed W A Balance of my new address, thus enabling us to get into touch again without appreciable loss of time.