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Driver Harry Petty


Harrogate Herald - 7th April 1915

Private Harry Petty, writing home, says :

Dear Ma and Pa, Just a line or two in answer to yours and to let you know I received the box and contents quite safely. I say contents because I've known chaps get the boxes all right, but the contents have flown. However, I think I got everything quite safe. Thanks very much for it. I don't know how many had a hand in it, but you will see that my heartiest thanks reach them all right. The cakes were absolutely "it". I gave my old stomach a picnic. I think you though of everything that was useful to me, even to the pinch of salt. The eggs were a bit battered. 'Twas a good job you boiled them hard, or else things would have been looking "eggstra" by the time I'd got them. So you've had J R P junr., over, and he looks fine, to quote Edith. Am very glad to hear it. I'm afraid when I come home it will be for good, but I don't mind so very much. I think by what I've seen here that it only unsettles a chap going home for a day or two. Oh, I've just thought of this; next time you see Miss Todd tell her it's not the first time she's given me socks - that may be a joke, but it's a fact. I'll bet you have a house full on ma's birthday with all the kiddies there. I could almost fancy I heard them here; and Annie has plunged me still deeper into the depths of uncledom. That will be another one towards Kitchener's next million. I've just been trying to count how many nephews and nieces I have, but I'm not sure I'm correct with any forecast. Had the pleasure of listening to the Bishop of London. He is on a tour of all the troops on this frontier (British), I believe. I did enjoy his address. We were all sat down in an open field. He was perched in a GS wagon, and when he'd finished he expressed a wish to shake hands with all the officers and our two senior NCO's managed a grip also - the SM and the QMS. The weather here the last few days has been glorious. The hedgerows are covered with violets and primroses. Again thanking you for the miniature grocery store. Love to all.


(Miss Todd had sent Harry Petty some socks. She was his schoolmistress. The later socks were different to those she gave him at school -Editor)


Harrogate Herald - 7th April 1915

W H Breare letter

Harry Petty is at the Front. His old headmistress had sent him out some socks. In his letter today he says it is not the first time she has given him "socks". I do not think however that Harry wore the originals on his feet. I dare say he deserved the "socks" of the earlier pattern. Anyway they made a man and a good soldier of him. One of my lasting regrets is that I cannot now see my old school masters and mistresses to tell them how, each day, the load of my gratitude to them grows heavier. Well, the boy who has not a little of the devil in him, hasn't much else.


Harrogate Herald - 27th October 1915

The marriage took place on Saturday at the United Methodist Church, Harrogate, of Driver Harry Petty, Bridge Department, Royal Engineers, fourth son of Mr and Mrs J R Petty, of Nydd Vale Terrace, Harrogate, to Miss Olive West, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs H West, of 64 The Avenue, Starbeck. The ceremony was performed by the Rev T Sunderland, minister of the church. The bride, who was given away by her father, was prettily attired, and was attended by Miss Edith Petty (sister of the bridegroom) as bridesmaid. The best man was Corporal George Petty, 2nd West Yorkshires (brother of the bridegroom).

The bridegroom, who was home on a few days' furlough, returned to France on Monday, where three of his brothers - Private Fred Petty, 10th York and Lancasters; Quartermaster R Petty, 10th West Yorks; and Private John R Petty, Royal Army Medical Corps (64th West Lancashire Field Ambulance) - are serving their country. The best man, Corporal G Petty, fought at Neuve Chapelle, and was eight months in the trenches. He was invalided home a short time ago as a result to an accidental injury to his knee whilst in the trenches, and he is recovering at the Royal Bath Hospital, Harrogate. The youngest son, Private Ellis Petty, 2/5th Loyal North Lancashires, Royal Army Medical Corps, is stationed in Kent. Happily not one of Mr Petty's soldier sons, with the exception of Corporal G Petty, have met with any mishap.


Harrogate Herald - 30th May 1917

Wednesday Gossip

I have some cricketing things packed up for H Petty and his comrades, and am only waiting for his address. Perhaps his family will kindly forward it.


Harrogate Herald - 3rd October 1917

W H Breare letter

I haven't seen any of the Petty boys for some time. The other day Driver Harry Petty called, and I was able to hear something of his brothers. You know Harry is the son of Mr & Mrs J R Petty, of 21 Nidd Vale Terrace; the father of an old Volunteer and a good rifle shot up to advanced years. Petty had seen Dr Dimmock's chauffeur, but he couldn't for the life of him remember his name. Petty has been in touch with his brother Ellis for about seven months, so this has been pleasant for him. Ellis Petty is with Ernest Usher, commonly called Dick, son of Mr J Usher, and brother of Harry Usher, the DCM winner. Ernest has received a commission in the Heavy Machine Gun Corps, which includes the Tanks. George Petty, the quarter-master, is at Whitley's; he, you may know, has been wounded. Fred is at Sunderland, wounded and unfit. Dick has joined his old battalion, the 10th; John is in St Nicholas Hospital, Harrogate; Harry is the fourth son. This completes the fine record of the family's service.


Harrogate Herald - 9th January 1918

W H Breare letter

Other Mons heroes include Harry Petty (RE), son of Mr and Mrs J R Petty, who were about one of the first patriotic families we had the pleasure of chronicling; Driver Donald Currie, son of Mrs Currie, of Denmark Terrace, who had five or six sons serving, one being killed, and Donald is a prisoner in Germany; Sergeant-Farrier J Bowgett, a Starbeck man, who, I believe, was a policeman at Bridlington prior to joining the Colours; Private John G Swales(Royal Scots Greys), of Russell Street, Oatlands Mount, who has been wounded twice and is now in hospital at Halifax; Private Richard Carter, Coldstream Guards, who is a prisoner in Switzerland, and whose sister, Mrs J T Johnson, resides at Bachelor Gardens; Cadet H Bryant, who landed at Ostend in October, 1914, and was with the 7th Divisional Column up to Ghent; Private G Graham (KOYLI), who was wounded and taken prisoner at Mons. He is the son of Mrs E Graham, 10 King's Road, and now at Chemnitz; Private H G Smith (Dragoon Guards), who is now in hospital in Leeds; Second Lieutenant L A Shipman, who also received the meritorious medal, son of Mr and Mrs Shipman, of Willow Grove, Bilton, who have other sons in the Army and Navy.


Harrogate Herald - 8th January 1919

W H Breare letter

Trooper H G Smith, of the Dragoon Guards, one of the seven Harrogate men in the same regiment, was in the Army at the outbreak of war, and is on Christmas leave from his depot. His time was up two years ago, and he shortly expects his discharge. His sister, Miss Ivy G A Smith, was one of the first Harrogate girls to go on munitions, and has been presented with a shell in recognition of her full services. [See photograph in this issue] Her eldest sister was also on munitions. Trooper Smith joined the Regular Army at the same time as Harry Petty, one of Mr and Mrs J R Petty's six sons, who quickly rallied to the Colours when the war broke out, and was in the same class at Western Council School as Charley Hull, the Harrogate VC, who is in India.

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