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Lieutenant Jim Simpson


Harrogate Herald - 13th January 1915

W H Breare letter

You remember David Simpson, twice Mayor of Harrogate and the builder of the beautiful Duchy estate. he had a singular experience not long ago at Lowestoft, where Mr and Mrs David Simpson were staying. One day he was studying a map on a wall of the sea front when a silly fellow accused him of being a spy. David's indignation was so unfettered and volcanic that he leaped into good broad Yorkshire. His accuser saw in the vocabulary fresh evidence, he thought, of foreign extraction. The foolish fellow did not wait for evidence of David's nationality, but vanished and was no more seen. Just as though a real spy would publicly study a map on the sea front at Lowestoft! Mr Simpson's friends are still laughing over the incident. He is about as full of patriotism as an egg is of meat. For years he was in the Yorkshire Hussars, a fine shot, and he became one of the promoters of the Harrogate Civilian Rifle Club. His eldest son, "Jim" Simpson, is a sergeant in Kitchener's Army, and his second son, George Simpson, was one of the first to enlist in Australia for the Expeditionary Force. His third boy would have enlisted, but could not fulfil every requirement.


Harrogate Herald - 17th November 1915

W H Breare letter

Lieutenant Jimmy Simpson was in Harrogate the other day. I was told he was looking extremely well. My friends have had a word with him, but I have not. You remember he is the eldest son of Mr David Simpson, who built all that fine property on the Duchy Estate, and was twice Mayor of Harrogate. I am always proud to remember that he is one of my oldest and best friends.


Harrogate Herald 16th June 1920

Sir, I am not surprised that some good citizens have made a move in regard to the above object. Unfortunately I am one who lost two dear sons in the war, and therefore can understand the feelings of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, at the apparent neglect to arrange some definite scheme to erect a permanent memorial of good design and character with the names of the fallen inscribed. I have before me two scrolls given by the King, the one for my son Jim Simpson, another from George Simpson. The wording is as follows :

"He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered amongst those who at the call of King and Country left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom".

"Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten".

The existing conditions look very much as if the above words were being disregarded. The obvious duty of the committee who had this matter in hand was, firstly, to provide money for a memorial worthy of the town, all other schemes being subservient to that object.

To purchase a palatial building as a playground for the living (many of whom did not fight in the war), and to participate in its benefits at the expense of the dead is, I feel, unpatriotic and repugnant to an Englishman. It is time we had some definite statement on this subject.

I beg to thank Major Plackett, and Mr H A Day, also yourself, for your leader, in bringing the matter before the public. I have sufficient confidence in Harrogate people and their sense of justice to feel sure that they wish to see homage paid to the dead.

Yours faithfully, David Simpson.

"Hartwood", Kent Road, Harrogate


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