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Trooper Walter Voakes


Harrogate Herald - 6th January 1915

Local Lads on Active Service - Photos

W Voakes, Yorkshire Hussars


Harrogate Herald - 20th January 1915

The following is a list of members of the Harrogate Cricket Club who have joined some branch of His Majesty's Forces, as referred to by Mr Idle at the last meeting of the Yorkshire Cricket Council : 

A A Alderson, R Alderson, G Alderson, Lieutenant H E Appleyard, Lieutenant O J Addyman, A W Adams, H Blackburn, J Butterworth, J Brassington, B E Brown, H Bush, P J Barker, Dr A L Bastable, Captain A B Boyd-Carpenter, O Bastable, C Chippindale, W Crust, D H Drake, G L Dimmock, Lieutenant W H Brennan, A G Fraser, E H Gomersall, T W Green, A Gofton, W F Gibson, S Holmes, J Houfe, Rev D Hoole, S A Harrison, W Langley, Lieutenant W E L Lapham, Major W F Leader, G H Lamb, C A Mantle, Hon. R Captain Moreton, K L Newstead, Lieutenant R G Raworth, H W Rymer, S Royce, T W L Strother, J M Strother, Captain F H Shaw, G B Simpson, Alex Stott, A A Thomson, G E Topham, W Voakes, Hon E Major Wood, Military Police, K Wesley-Smith.

Total of 51, of which 8 are from the 1st XI


Claro Times - 20th February 1915


The Currie family of Harrogate, is a notable one, no less than nine of its members serving their King and Country. There are six sons, and three sons-in-law, their photographs being given above. From left to right the names are : Private Arthur Currie, Grenadier Guards; Private A Currie, "Bantams"; Driver Donald Currie, Royal Field Artillery, Prisoner of War; Corporal W Currie, at he Front; Private Douglas Currie, Cameron Highlanders (Canadian Contingent); Private Alfred Currie, Grenadier Guards; Trooper Walter Voakes, Yorkshire Hussars; Harry Hemmingway, "Hawke", Naval Brigade (interned in Holland); and Private Tom Kendall, 8th West Yorks.


Claro Times 20th February 1915

Five sons of Mrs Currie, 5 Denmark Terrace, Harrogate, are on active service, and the sixth is a scout who is doing duty in connection with the York and Lancaster Regiment. She has also three sons-in-law with the colours. Corporal William Currie joined the army about twelve years ago, and is in the Royal Field Artillery, having been in France since the war broke out.

Privates Arthur, Alfred, and Douglas Currie have been in Canada several years, and the first two have joined the Grenadier Guards, whilst Douglas has joined the Cameron Highlanders. Alfred has already returned th England, and is on Salisbury Plain in training. The other two are undergoing training in Canada, and will be transported to England with the third Canadian Contingent. All three have followed the trade of plasterer, two being at Calgary and one at Winnipeg.

Driver Donald Currie joined the Royal Field Artillery just a year ago, and on the outbreak of war went to France with the First Expeditionary Force. He was reported missing on the 24th August, on the retirement from Mons, but it transpired later that he had been taken prisoner of war, when a body of French were taken at Maubeuge. He is now a prisoner of war at Doeberitz. Two postcards have been received from him, and he says he is all right and quite well, and has received the parcels sent to him.

Donald and William Currie formerly worked at the Post Office.

Three sons-in-law of Mrs Currie are also on active service Private T Kendall, 8th West Yorkshires, Private W Voakes, Yorkshire Hussars, and H Hemingway, of the Hawks Battalion, Naval Brigade. Voakes is well known in Harrogate as a footballer, having played for the Northern Union and the Harrogate Old Boys' Clubs. He has done good service for the Northern Union team this season, and was playing on Saturday, having got leave for this purpose.

Harry Hemingway took part in the defence of Antwerp, and was in the party who were driven across the frontier into Holland, and is there interned.


Harrogate Herald - 17th January 1917


Writing from Salonica, E Ruddy says : 

I don't remember the last time you heard from me, but I think it was about the time of the first battle of Ypres. Since then I was sent home for repairs, overhauled, and sent out to France again. Then I was invalided home once more, and when I was patched up I was sent out to Salonica. Now I am with the Serbian Army in the Balkans. Some of the road are awful, and the mountains would make one makes of carts give up the ghost. We are going right across the old battlefields that we used to read about, but never thought to see. The Serbians are very nice chaps to get on with, and will do anything for our men. The Greeks are the biggest rogues living, but Tommy takes a lot of doing. We don't see many British troops on our Front, but all the same things are lively. You will notice we took Monastir from the Bulgars. That was some job, I can tell you. In the summer this country is a white man's grave. We have had lots of our fellows 'in dock' with malaria and dysentery, and they take a lot of pulling round again. I myself don't ail much and keep very fit. Some of these old Turkish villages look very nice from a distance, but when we get to them they are far from it. The men and women look as if they never washed in their lives, and how they live I don't know. Most of the carting and heavy work is done by oxen. Take it all round, Macedonia will have to change its ways, and if the British stop here long they will see it's done. 

The mountains are covered with snow, and we are expecting some tonight. When I tell you we are in tents you will be surprised. It is very cold now, and the wind carried a NCO's mess away today. In the days of peace I did not care about the weather, so long as it did not rain in bed, but now it does rain in bed, and still we have to grin. If one mentions it, the sergeant gently reminds you that you are on active service. If the beef is raw, the cooks tell you they are on active service. I am never likely to forget it for some time. War has its drawbacks, so has civil life when you come to weigh it up. They can't "sack" a chap in the Army, anyway. My pal says he wishes they would "sack" him and send him to Blighty. 

I met a chap last week who worked on one of Bell's taxis. He had the special service medal given him by the Crown Prince of Serbia. I also met Walt Voakes and Exley at Salonica, but that is some time ago. Walt looked as fat and strong as usual. I've seen an officer out here whom I have seen at home, but can's name. Perhaps you will know who it is. They are all with the British, and we don't meet now, worse luck. Do you hear from "Sos" Parsons, who went to France with me? I should like to hear from him. Billy Bell, Parsons, Calvert, Judd, and myself all joined the Army the same day. I wonder shall we ever meet again. If you have a razor, safety or otherwise, I should be pleased if you would let me have one. Three of us use the same one now, and it is awkward.

Also if you have a single string fiddle to send us, the boys would be no end grateful. Now I must conclude with best wishes, also wishing you a happy New Year.

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