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Petty Officer S A Maddock


Harrogate Herald - 3rd October 1917

W H Breare letter

On Saturday I had a most interesting visit from Petty Officer S A Maddock, who is home on a month's leave. You will wonder at the length of furlough, and perhaps imagine that his health has something to do with it. Nothing of the kind. He has been twenty-two months on trying service, and it is his turn for leave. Maddock has been to Russia, Turkish Armenia, than back to Russia, next to Persia, then to Russia, rushed into Romania, to reach which took six weeks on the train. He is with what is termed the Russian Legion, which is commanded by Commander O Locker Lampson, MP, whose name will be familiar to you. It was good to hear Maddock speak of this distinguished officer, who has done such marvellous work in the East. I do not suppose there is a man in the whole British Army (or is it the Navy he is connected with?) who is more deserving of the highest gratitude and honour. I cannot tell you all that Maddock told me, but his lot have passed through some very trying ordeals. On one occasion it was Lampson who held up a huge force of retreating, demoralised Russians. The Lampson and his men were the very last to retreat, always fighting rearguard actions, often without much Russian assistance. From Roumania they went back to Russia into Galicia, and took part in the battle of Brzanzy, the village where they were engaged being named Leityutin. I have omitted to tell you, but you will suspect that when I mention the name of Lampson, it is armoured cars that I am speaking about. This force was the very first of the British to reach Russia, and the reception they had was something extraordinary. German spies and intriguers, however, are doing their utmost to undermine the popularity of the British, but I have no doubt that everything will come right in this respect, and that shortly. I think I should have no difficulty in writing an interesting book on matters which Maddock related to me, and yet all the time he gave nothing away that was not ripe for utterance.


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