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Private Norman Richardson


Harrogate Herald - 17th November 1815

W H Breare letter

A gentleman came into the office the other day and hurriedly left a mouth organ. This I asked for to send to Private N Richardson, 1/5th West Yorks. The gentleman did not leave his name, for which I am very sorry. If I can ascertain who the kind donor was I will let you know, because I am sure you will be glad to thank him. I am sending the mouth organ by an early post.


Harrogate Herald - 1st December 1915

Private A Richardson, 2734, C Company, 14th Platoon, 5th West Yorks, is a brother of Private Norman Richardson, whom you will remember as receiving that particular mouth organ I have mentioned. He came in to see me on Friday. He returned home on the pathetic duty of attending the funeral of his wife's sister, but, unluckily, he arrived too late. He tells me he is in good health and has increased in weight. He is as cheerful and as happy as the rest of the boys. He remarked on the ample supply of food and everything else save those little dainties sent out by the kind people at home. These are all very desirable extra comforts.


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

Private N Richardson says : 

Just a line to let you know I have received your paper all right. Well, we are still sticking to the work in the trenches. It is surprising what a difference a mouth organ makes to chaps; the more so when they are nearly fagged out. It seems to put new life into them, and they all get into step, and before they know they are at the billets. For instance, the first rest we went to while we were on the march somebody passed a mouth organ along, and I started playing it until we arrived at our rest billets. Some of the chaps said : "Well, if it had not been for the mouth organ we should not have landed". It just shows what a big difference it makes to a chap when he is nearly done up. Well, I will not waste any more of your time, so will close. Writing you and your paper every success in the future. In the dug-out there are some Tommies who like to hear the mouth organ, so I am just going to give them a tune to keep them alive.


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

W H Breare letter

To Private N Richardson - We cannot give you the name of the gentleman who sent you the mouth organ, as he desires to remain anonymous. The gentleman will see your letter of thanks in the paper, which apparently is sufficient for him.


Harrogate Herald - 15th December 1915

Private A Richardson, of the 3rd Entrenching Battalion, brother of Private N Richardson, had the misfortune to be hit the day after his return from leave. In a letter to Mr W H Breare, Private N Richardson, referring to the incident, says : My brother came to see you the other week. Well, he was wounded the day after he came back, so I say it is a bit of bad luck on his part. It is very bad out here for getting about. The roads are awful muddy, and our rest billets are up to the knees in mud.


Harrogate Herald - 29th December 1915


Private N Richardson, after expressing his thanks for the Herald, adds : I must say the Germans stopped us a bit this morning, and they put some very heavy shells over, including shrapnel by the score. Well, to tell you the truth, I though our time had come. It was what I should call a proper bombardment, and not half. Well, I will close, wishing you a merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.


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