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Driver W Smithson


Harrogate Herald - 3rd March 1915

Recruiting in Harrogate during the month of February has been fairly brisk. The names of those who have enlisted through the medium of the Recruiting Office in Station Square are as follows : T H Potter, R Cornall, T Johnson, H Massheder, J McLaughlin, Percy Cash, H Morrell, C J Summersall, F G Squire, C E Crossley, A J Lale, A Dewar, C Lewis, A Addison, G Addison, G McGuire, M J Lyons, G E Mathers, W Tipling, E Marshall, W Younger, C Tranill, H B Broadley, G T Gamage, Ingham, Dobby, Brearley, Riley, E Simpson, J W Lamb, E Shackleton, P C Moorey, J Roker, F Slinger, A Harrison, W A Wray, J Elsworth, J A Bayley, F V Thackwray, W Smithson, and Stephen Fountain.

This list does not include those joining the colours through the Westminster Chambers agency, nor those who join the Yorkshire Hussars and Yorkshire Dragoons direct


Harrogate Herald - 24th November 1915

Driver W Smithson writes : 

Just a line to thank you very much for your paper, which I get every week. I am sorry to say I have no news for you, as every day is the same out here. Last Friday night we had a bit of excitement. The Huns sent us about 30 shells. I was on guard that night and I tell you it was anything but nice. The weather here is very bad. It rains for a week when it does start, and very cold with it, which makes our job very hard. And now, Mr Breare, I must close. Hoping you are in the pink, as I am, and wishing you and your paper every success. PS - When your paper comes all my pals say "After you with it". They all seem as interested as I am in it, and when they see the photographs they ask me if I know first one and then another.


Harrogate Herald - 29th December 1915

W H Breare letter

I have the mouth organ Driver W Smithson asked for, and am sending it out. It has been sent to me for Smithson by Mr G W Jackson, 81 West End Avenue. Will Smithson write and acknowledge it on receipt?


Harrogate Herald - 22nd December 1917

Driver W Smithson, Royal Engineers, writes : 

Just a line to say how pleased I am to get your paper every week. We are having very bad weather, raining every day. The town in some parts is about three feet deep. All the fields are under water. We have a little cut running at the back of our horses, and it has risen four inches since this morning, so you can guess what it is like. We have just had a game of football, and, my word, we do look like mud larks. One of my pals is very good on the mouth organ. We got him one before we came out here, but at last it has got broken, and I would be very pleased if any of your readers would be so kind as to send us one. It will help to make Xmas a little bit like it is in England. This last week the Germans have been trying to be funny, sending shells over, and the worst of it is that they insist on sending them either at dinner or tea times, but I hope they won't spoil our Xmas dinner or tea. I think I have said all this time, wishing you a merry Xmas and a happy New Year, also thanking you again for paper.


Harrogate Herald - 2nd May 1917


Acknowledging receipt of the Herald, Driver W Smithson says : 

I look forward to it now more than I ever did, as we can get no papers out here where we are now, and without a bit of reading life is very dull. I was wondering if any kind gentleman would send me two golf clubs and a few balls. I am a professional, and was at the Harrogate Golf Club for five years. I thought I could keep my hand in a bit if I could get a club or two, but I don't know how they would come out here, as thy soon get broken. But in any case I will leave it to you, as you know more about sending things away than I do. I know you will do your best for me. I suppose the old town is looking very smart just now. There are some villages out here with hardly two bricks standing, the Germans having blown them all up as they left them. As long as the weather is fine we don't mind sleeping out in little huts made of anything. Thanking you again for the paper and hoping you are in the best of health. PS. If it is possible iron clubs would be the best.


Harrogate Herald - 9th May 1917

Wednesday Gossip

I have despatched this week three golf clubs and one dozen ball to Driver W Smithson; safety razor to Trooper A Lawrence; playing cards to Pte W Parkinson; a parcel of woollen comforts to Gunner J Schofield; safety razor to Bugler W H Kirk.


Harrogate Herald - 30th May 1917


Driver W Smithson writes : 

Just a line or two to say how sorry I am in not writing you before ?????? also the gentleman ???????? so kindly sent me ?????? am pleased to say ????? safely. I have had ?????? and will soon be ?????. Three is as much for ?????? other game, and the ?????? wanting to play. You ?????? see the different ways they try to hit the ball. Some try to send it over the moon - and miss it altogether, so you may be sure they are pleasing some of the boys in their spare time.


Harrogate Herald - 1st August 1917


Driver W Smithson says : 

The only papers we can read are those we get sent out by our kind friends at home. I have not been able to play golf lately with the clubs you kindly sent me, as the grass is to long, and I have lost one or two balls.


Harrogate Herald - 27th February 1918

Driver A Smithson says : 

I have met a few of the boys from the old town - one called Hudson, from Starbeck, and one from Knaresborough - so I passed three of your papers to them. When I asked them if they would like to see one they were more than pleased. One said, "Yew, let's see something from the old town". I am sorry to say I have left them now.


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