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Private Harold Ragan


Harrogate Herald - 3rd January 1917

Roll of Honour

Mrs R W Western, Cowper Terrace, Harehills, Leeds and late of Knaresborough, has received the sad news of her son, Private Harold Ragan, being killed in action on November 18th. Private Ragan, he joined the Canadian contingent, was well-known in Knaresborough and district, previous to going over to the Dominions, where he married. He went to the Front at the end of July, and was in the battle of the Somme. He was an adept in the narratory art, and possessed three silver medals and several valuable prizes won at Harrogate, Knaresborough, and Starbeck swimming galas, and up to going to Canada held the championship cup for the Starbeck Club. It will be remembered he pluckily saved two persons from drowning in the Nidd. In football, Private Ragan was also a prominent player in both Knaresborough and Starbeck Clubs.

The following letter relating the sad event of his death has been received from the company sergeant-major : 

"I have your letter of 10th inst. regarding your son. I am truly sorry to report that your son was killed in action on the 18th November. He was acting in the capacity of battalion runner, and was one of a party of signallers and runners, amongst whom a shell burst, killing some and wounding the remainder. I shall endeavour to obtain from some eyewitnesses more particulars and send them on to you. As he was not with the company on duty I cannot tell you how and where he was buried. The news of his death came as a real calamity to the boys of his company. I am speaking no more generalism when I say that he, by his soldier-like qualities, kindly disposition, and general demeanour, had endeared himself to us all. In the loss you have sustained in the very poignant grief which this has occasioned, you cannot but feel proud that you son died one of the noblest of deaths. The position of runner in the field is a most hazardous job and demands a great deal of timeless energy, besides courage. These qualities your son possessed in a marked degree. I suppose his wife would appear on he rolls as his next-of-kin, consequently we had no knowledge regarding you. Any further information I can gather I shall gladly remit to you".


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