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Private Frank Parkin


Harrogate Herald - 10th January 1917


In a letter home Frank Parkin, son of Mr & Mrs Parkin, 8 Victoria Avenue, says : 

My dear Mother, Dad, and Dot, I am glad to say I have at last got time to write and thank you for the two letters and parcels I received at our last destination, but I had not time to answer them. I cannot tell you where we are now, but we are many feet above sea level. So many that we are nearly always in the midst of a cloud, and it is just like a very thick mist all day long. I am glad to say we are all in the pink. I am as right as I can be and in good health. I am in a dugout that the last lot left, and they can make dugouts. These are just like a second house. We have a little stove, lit with wood, and a candle in, and are as right as rain - but no mistake they have been clever fellows. They have left some splendid places. I wish you could just see me sitting smoking one of the little cigars that dad enclosed in my birthday parcel. I will make anther attempt to finish this letter, this only being the third try, and since I wrote the first part we have had some wretched weather, and it is up to the eyes in puddle. I see by the paper that an old chum of mine, G Ellis, has written a letter from France, and says he has seen letters from us in the paper, and we are having a better time than they are, but I cannot see where that comes in. He says the mud is awful. We don't mind the mud if the hills were as level as they are in France. We may not have much fighting, but we get it other ways. It is Sunday again today, and I have just had what we call a good dinner, toasted cheese (done on our own little fire) and biscuits (ant not Palmer's), but it went down very nice. I was glad when I saw the paper had come, as the new place where we are, we are worse off than the last. We never saw a paper or anything, so we don't know how the war is going on in other parts, but by what the English papers say it won't last long, and I hope so, too. I just wish I could go to the Empire now and again. You must have had a treat with the Belgian band. I see by the paper it was a great success. I have to keep stopping and having a blow at the fire, as the wood is wet, and doesn't seem to burn very well. An old biscuit tin acts as fireplace, and when the fire starts smoking we can hardly see each other. We have a little hole through the top, but we get a nice old dump of mud down sometimes. I could just do a good old home dinner just now - Yorkshire pudding, etc., and not forgetting the custard. It would just go down all right. I shall grumble at nothing when I get back. Still we are doing no harm on what we do get and don't look any worse off for it. Well, I suppose you will all be looking forward to Xmas, but it won't be like an old peace-time one, by a long way. I hope you are in the best of health, and I must wish you many happy returns of the day, for your birthday will be soon, and hoping you all have a merry Xmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year. I have just had a letter from you dated October 11th. It has been all over, also back to England, but I am pleased that I have got it at a right moment, as I have not a cig. in the world and it contains three packets.


Harrogate Herald - February 1917


Private Frank Parkin, writing from Salonica, says : 

I must apologise for not acknowledging the parcel you sent containing the clippers, and the boys and I wish to thank you very much for the same. We have found them very useful, and have done good service already. I have written to Mrs Murray to thank her, as she was one of my best customers with the car, so I thought it was my duty to thank her. Hope this will not offend you in any way. I have written you two letters to thank you for the papers I have received, but don't know if you have got them as yet. I see by the papers that many Harrogate boys have gone done and others have got wounded, including many I know very well. Well, I expect thy are preparing for Xmas in Harrogate now, but it won't be like one of the old times. We are still right up amongst the hills and many more thousand feet than where we were the last time I wrote you. I hear from England that most of or chaps have gone out to France lately out of the Yorkshire Hussars. Two years this month we were all excited at being billeted in Harrogate for the winter, and we had a good time while we were there. Well, we have a mail up tonight, so I may be lucky and have a letter or two and the good old paper. I hope so, anyway. I have not had one for about three weeks up to the other day, and I was lucky - I got one dated the 28th November, and I keep reading it over and over again. I must close now, thanking you once again for the parcel, also hoping you are in the best of health; and I must wish you and the "old paper", also the staff, a very happy and prosperous New Year. I am still in he best of health, and still manage to get on all right.

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