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Private Fred Lancaster


Claro Times - 30th July 1915

Private Fred Lancaster, formerly engaged at the Harrogate Post Office, who is 'Somewhere in Belgium', expressing his thanks to a Harrogate friend for a parcel of good things, says : 

"I couldn't talk to you if you were here now, because I've got a fine big chunk of toffee in my mouth. I saw Herbert Watson as recently as last Sunday. He had been talking to Britton, and had seen J Padgett, who was well. Currie is the only other one I've come across. Wally Franks is here with us, and is quite well. Herbert has been off sick with hay fever for a week, but was about right again. I've been off colour myself, but am fit again now, thank goodness. I'm not going to write you a long letter about my experience, for you will say, 'Dash it! I can read all that in the Claro Times'. I'll say briefly this, that this life is by no means bad. The open-air and exercise keeps one as fit as a fiddle, and not even the greatest living pessimist could complain about lack of excitement. We have lately taken up a new section of trench. The journey was accomplished by stages of various length, and the different scenery, fresh towns and faces, proved very interesting. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed it. The billets one get to sleep in are of every possible kind, from pig-sties to hen-houses; sometimes the open air. This particular section of the line is lively. The old Germans, by all accounts, dish out death and destruction in every conceivable form. At the time of writing there is an artillery duel on, and shells are flying overhead with their hellish whine. They haven't dropped and nearer than a hundred yards to us, so it doesn't matter. I wonder whatever they'd say if one dropped on James Street! You'll be glad to hear that I've been granted my certificate as sorting clerk and telegraphist, so I'm all right, aren't I, when I get back?"


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