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W "Billy" Knowles

 
 

Harrogate Herald - 20th June 1917

W H Breare letter

I am sorry to tell you that our good friend assistant station-master John Knowles is lying seriously ill. I have known him since he was quite a young man and such a successful comedian in the Station Staff dramatic performances. The mutual friendship we formed then has continued uninterrupted all these years. I need not tell you, therefore , how anxiously I am hoping for his recovery. I told you about those two fine sons of his, who are in the Army fighting, and you will remember that one of his daughters married my genial friend Fred Allen, formerly of Cathcart House, but now we almost consider him a Canadian. That is when he is in Canada. Here, he is thoroughly English, and fighting along with you boys across the water. Later in my letter if I have heard further about my old friend Knowles I will let you know.

 

Harrogate Herald - 4th July 1917

W H Breare letter

I am sorry to commence my letter this week with pathetic news, but I know you are strong enough to take the bad with the good. Our old friend John Knowles, assistant stationmaster, passed away on Wednesday night. There is one happy phase in connection with this bereavement that will give you satisfaction. It is that the soldier sons of whom I spoke were in time to see their father alive. Lieutenant Tom Knowles is in the Lord Furness Hospital, which is the Grand Hotel, recovering from a wound in the leg. Billy Knowles is home on leave. I had been wondering and worrying whether the boys would get home in time. I am much relieved to find that they have had this privilege, though it was a joyless home-coming. Although, towards the last, we were led to expect our friend's death, yet when it did come it was a shock, we liked him so. That old adage is very true - "Misfortunes never come singly". We had not recovered from the loss of Mrs Purvis, the stationmaster's wife, when this further blow fell. We can keep Knowles' memory green, and we shall do so, shall we not? His was a personality not to be forgotten. I grieve to think of the break in this happy family. May the memory of a good husband and father bring them perpetual sunshine!

 

Harrogate Herald - 4th July 1917

[Extract from the Obit of John Knowles] He leaves a widow, two sons, and a daughter to mourn his loss, to whom much sympathy will be extended. Of his two sons, Lieutenant T Knowles was fortunately able to reach home a few days before his father passed away. His other son is Quartermaster-Sergeant W Knowles.

 

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