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
"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