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Harrogate Herald - 17th October 1917

W H Breare letter

I have just had in Private H J Crosthwaite, No. 30625, of the 728 Labour Company. Perhaps you remember that before the War he was a masseur at the Royal Baths, where he worked for twelve years. Then he went to Bradford to take charge of a department in is line. Crosthwaite is looking well, though he has passed through a good deal of danger with hard work added. He told me that their main trouble was from night attacks and air raids. With him is Harrison, RE, son of Harrison who worked for Mr Knowles, decorator. Harrison was a bricklayer before the War. George Ibbetson was with him but got his discharge through sickness. He met in Calais, five or six weeks ago, Scholes who went out originally with the 26th Company, ASC - the same as Crosthwaite joined - but both were transferred. Crosthwaite's eldest son George is in Mesopotamia. He hasn't heard from him for six months. He was then in hospital at Valeta Hospital, Malta. Since then he has gone to Mesopotamia. Herbert, his youngest son, is in the Trench Mortar Battery, but is now in hospital in Edmonton, London. He hasn't seen Herbert for two years, yet on one occasion was within 200 yards of him and did not know it. Crosthwaite himself on December 1st, 1913 [sic], broke two ribs and was in hospital a month on the other side. He has had the best of health since. It is refreshing to see such men as Crosthwaite, who are so strong in their courage and determination to do their best and to note, in the course of their narrations, that kindly twinkle which reveals a sense of humour and a firm intention to make the best of everything.


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