Home | Contact Me | Search

 

 
Set as Homepage
Bookmark Me
  Search Site
Latest News
Print this Page Print Page
 
 

Private William Rowling

 
 

Harrogate Herald  24th January 1917

Letters

W Rowling writes : 

Just a line to let you know that I have arrived here safely, and after travelling in the "corridor trains" (?), otherwise trucks, have landed within sound of the big guns. You will understand I am unable to mention what place we are at, but it is practically all alike round here - dirty, and not a bit like home. At present we are billeted in barns, etc. The weather is anything but pleasant, wet and cold; but of course we cannot grumble, except to ourselves. I haven't come across anyone I know yet, but there is plenty of time. There are several local boys in my section, so if you send the Herald to me I can pass it on. There is S Ridehalgh, J McNichol, of New Park, and one or two more. Wishing you and Mrs B a happy and prosperous New Year.

 

Harrogate Herald - 4th April 1917

W Rowling writes : 

You must forgive me for not acknowledging receipt of the Harrogate Herald, which I have received weekly and have found something worth reading in them. News is scarce out here, but plenty of rumours. Since I last wrote to you I have moved several times and have seen some scenes of terrible fighting - The district of which I am not allowed to disclose. I have seen a few local lads out here. A chap called Sutcliffe, of Skipton Road, in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and a Yates, Royal Army Medical Corps, of King's Road. I was pleased to read of Sergeant Shaw being presented with his Military Medal. I wish I could have been there, but all the same he has my best wishes for a safe return. The weather has not been anything flash lately, but it seems to be clearing up now, which will make marching easier. I have slept in some strange places - shell holes, trenches, and yards down in the earth. I am sorry to say we have lost our Major, but you will have received the information before now.

 

Harrogate Herald - 9th May 1917

Roll of Honour

Private W Rowling (West Yorks), youngest son of Mrs Emma Rowling, Antique and Curio Dealer, 1 Montpelier Gardens, Harrogate, has been wounded. He was taken to the No 2 Australian General Hospital, Boulogne, and probably by the time this is in print will be in England. In a letter home he says it is nothing serious. "It happened on Thursday morning at 4.30. Our guns had started to put a heavy fire on Fritz, so our chaps could advance. I was waiting in a bit of shelter on the roadside, when a bit of old iron off a heavy German shell gave my head such a clout, and but for my steel helmet I daresay I should have been o 'goner', but God spared me, and all I have is a scalp wound. Of course, it may be a bit in healing, but you must not fret yourself. I have a terrible headache and feel a little deaf. It was awful, hundreds of guns firing at once, but I will tell you all some day. I am comfortable here, but would sooner be in Blighty.

 

Harrogate Herald - 23rd May 1917

War Notes

A letter has been received from Private W Rowling, son of Mrs Rowling, Montpelier Gardens, Harrogate, who says he has a very comfortable place at Penoyre Red Cross Hospital, Brecon, Wales. The man he spoke to just before he was wounded was Jack Middleton, the West Park goalie.

 

Harrogate Herald - 20th June 1917

W H Breare letter

I told you that Private W Rowling, younger son of Mrs Rowling, of Montpelier Gardens has been wounded on the 3rd of May. Well, he was first removed to Cardiff, then to a convalescent home in Brecon. He has been home on ten days' leave, and on Monday went to Clipstone to a reserve battalion. He is not looking very well. If even I can see it I don't suppose that he will be coming out to join you for some time. He certainly is not fit yet.

 

Harrogate Herald- 24th October 1917

Roll of Honour

Private W Rowling, one of the Beechwood Boys, and son of Mrs Rowling, of Montpelier Gardens, has been wounded a second time, having returned to the Front only a few weeks ago after recovering from his first injury. He is now in the Queen's Hospital at Sidcup, Kent. This [paper damaged after this]

W H Breare letter

Lance Corporal A H Robinson, fresh from the ridge, arrived on Tuesday and called to see me. It is 18 months since he last sat in my room, then straight from the Front. His brother James Robinson was with him on the former occasion, but, alas, his chair is vacant, for he was killed on the Somme, September 28th. My visitor has been wounded, but has gone scot free since. He is a son of Mr & Mrs William Robinson, whose home is 41 Regent Avenue, and one of the Herald staff. Robinson brought me unwelcome news that William Rowling had been wounded again, this time in the last push. He also brought me a letter Rowling sent his mother, written from No. 11 Ward, Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent. Glad to see he is not dangerously wounded, but it will be some time before he recovers, for the bullet went through his chin, happily sparing the tongue.

 

Harrogate Herald - 28th November 1917

Letters

W Rowling writing from Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, says : 

I am writing these few lines to thank you for the Herald, which comes regularly. I can assure you it goes a long way to cheer one up, especially in a case like mine, as I am likely to be in hospital for many weary months, as it is a very slow process mending jaws. I am quite hopeful of being made nearly as well as formerly. I'm sorry to see so many pals have made the supreme sacrifice, and, to hear that my old CO, Colonel Joselyn, has been wounded. I daresay the Beechwood Boys have been in the latest push, as they were round the district last time I heard of them. I'm glad your strike trouble was short-lived, as I know for myself that you have some of the most contented workers a master could wish to have. I see Corporal Gamble, of Oatlands, is in hospital about four miles from here. I shall go and see him when I fell like doing the distance. I haven't been up to town yet, but I shall be going to see the latest show some of these days. Remember me in your weekly letter to all my pals both in the 1/5th and 2/5th West Yorks, and say I am going on as well as can be expected. I don't know of any more news this time. Hoping Mrs B and yourself are enjoying good health.

W H Breare letter

I have recently had some news of W Rowling, who you will remember was wounded in the chin, and is at a facial hospital in London. I was pleased to hear of the extraordinary kindness the soldiers there receive from everyone. Rowling's chin will have to be patched up, but, fortunately, his tongue has not been hurt. His mother recently spent quite a long time with him, and the same kindness was extended to her during her visit by the chaplain, the staff, and everyone with whom she came in contact. This is the sort of thing that makes us all feel a thrill of happiness, and brings us very near contentment. One of the specialists who attended to Rowling was a Harrogate man. The discovery was pleasant for both. Speaking of facial establishments reminds me that now and again even we, the public, marvel at the transformations, and have to look very close to discover them. Something we have to be told before we can realise it.

..... and further in the same letter

You will see a letter in another column from Gunner Rowling, Queen's Hospital, Sidcup. He desires to be kindly remembered in my letter to all his pals in the 1/5th and 2/5th West Yorks.

 

Home | Contact Me | Search

 

Copyright 2004, 2005 Harrogate Historical Society