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Private Fred Topham


Harrogate Herald - 24th October 1917

Roll of Honour

The family of the late Mr T W Topham, of King's Road, Harrogate, and Mrs Topham, 3 Grove Terrace, Bradford, have been exceedingly unfortunate, Sergeant Major Christopher Topham being killed in action on October 9th. He joined the Harrogate Territorials in 1904, and was at Scarborough in training when the war broke out. He immediately went into training for the war on the Continent, and was drafted to France in April, 1915. Before the war he was employed by Mr F Jackson, builder, Harrogate. His officer, writing to Mrs Topham, expresses his sorrow at her loss, and says : "Your son was sent to us as sergeant major, and he pulled the company together wonderfully, and made a very fine body of men. He is a greater loss to the battalion than any other man who lost his life that day. I had the greatest personal liking for him, and know all the other officers had the same. As far as I can make out he was killed while bravely leading the company, when all his officers were knocked out. I am sure it is the kind of death he would have chosen".

Corporal Arthur Topham (West Yorks), his brother, was wounded by shrapnel on Messines Ridge in trying to save a trench mortar, and has just returned to his battalion. Private Fred Topham, another brother, was wounded by gunshot in the right arm on June 5th, and is now an inmate or the Jericho Military Hospital, Berwick. Another brother, Staff Sergeant Gordon Topham, late of the West Yorks, is with the AVC in Egypt. The above are the grandsons of the late Mr W Topham and the late Mr Christopher & Mrs Hodgson, of West Park, Harrogate.


Harrogate Herald - 12th December 1917

W H Breare letter

Private T E Topham, of the West Yorks, has been out 14 months, and during that time had trench fever for seven for seven weeks and a touch of the too familiar poisoning. Since then his health has varied. But I was glad to see him fairly well on Thursday when he called whilst on 14 days' leave. You will remember he is the son of the late sexton of Bilton Church and of Mrs Topham, of 34 Mayfield Grove. His brother Fred Topham has been wounded and is in Liverpool Hospital. He is of the Canadians. Fred expects to get his discharge shortly. Todd, of Nidd, a battalion bomber, used to be with him, and a son of Mr Hewitson, yeast merchant, is in his lot at the present time.


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