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Private Albert Taylor


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

The remarkable escapes some men have at the Front is illustrated in the following letter from Albert Taylor, of Forest Lane, Starbeck, who is serving in the Royal Field Artillery "somewhere in France" :

November 25th, 1915. Dear Edgar - Just a line or two, hoping you are all well at home, as I am at present. I promised you I would write when I got back, and as we are quite tonight I thought I would let you know that I am still alive. To be here tonight you would hardly credit there is a war on at all. It is pitch black, except when a star shell goes up in the trenches, then it lights the whole ground up for far enough round. There has hardly been a shot fired here all day long, but they will be making up for it perhaps tomorrow. Some of our ammunition waggons were taking shells up to the guns the other day, when the Germans ere shelling the roads, and a shell burst just at the side of the team and blew one of the horses to bits and wounded another so bad that it died. The most remarkable thing is that the driver was not hurt at all, so I think he ought to consider himself extra lucky. A few days before, six mules were killed in almost the same place, and the drivers badly wounded. We all live in dug-outs round here, as we get a fair amount of shells near. One dropped just behind our horse lines and badly wounded one of our horses. We had to send it away, but I don't think it will be any good. I am writing this letter in J Horn's dug-out as there is a lot of water in mine, and I shall have to bail it out before I go in to bed. I have to sleep in a bunk, so that my blankets don't touch the floor or they would be wet through. Well, I expect things will be very quiet at Starbeck. All the boys will have joined the colours by now. Did you go to the Hirings last night? I was thinking about you and I remembered I was there last year, and I hope I shall be there for the next lot. How is Dick Birkhill getting on, and where is he? He is in our second lot, I believe. Perhaps he will be coming out here soon, as we keep getting reinforcements sent out to us, and I should think he will soon be a trained man. If you have his address, will you let me know it, as I would like to write to him? Well, Edgar, I think I have wrote quite a long letter, and I don't know of anything else except to ask you to remember me to your father and mother and the boys. I will close now, hoping to hear from you very soon.


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