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Private William Walker


Harrogate Herald - 31st January 1917


Private W Walker, whose home is at Starbeck, writes : 

Just a line to let you know that my mates and I have arrived out here safe and sound. Well, I would like to know if you could put me on your list for a Herald every week, as whilst I was in training I received your paper and found it very useful, as I could read all the news about our old town when so far away. I have three mates - two from Harrogate and another and myself from Starbeck. I think one paper would be enough, as we could pass it round, and it would be appreciated, I know, by my pals, and perhaps would save you a bit of bother by sending one instead of four. Well, it is very cold at present, snowing and raining all last week. I can tell you I feel lost without the old paper. George Nicholson is one. He was a local piano tuner. No doubt you will know him, and the others are Drummer W Halliday, of Starbeck, and Private J Gledhill, of Bilton, and myself, Private W Walker, of Starbeck. There is only one thing that bothers us out here, and it makes us more done up than anything, and that is cigs. We are all cig smokers, and we haven't had a proper smoke hardly, so if you have any on hand know you don't forget the lads from the town we belong to. I have not met any lads that belong to Harrogate district yet, but no doubt will see some before long. Thanks to the band, it got us a good dinner at Xmas, and I thank the contributors who did so much to try and make us happy whilst away from the old town. No doubt we were a long time in training, but our time has come, and we are gong to show what we are made of, I think, this time. All join in wishing your paper every success. PS - I know a few of your staff : Wilf Dickinson and Norman Rogers, and I know you will have your hands full just now.


Harrogate Herald - 7th February 1917

W H Breare letter

Mrs Best is sending out 500 cigarettes to Private W Walker and his comrades. He wrote last week saying that they could do with some. This is the second 500 the good lady has sent in about a fortnight or less.


Harrogate Herald - 25th April 1917


Private W Walker, acknowledging the receipt of the Herald, says : 

They generally arrive on one day (Wednesday); in fact, if it does not arrive then we say, "Well, cheer-o! it will be here tomorrow". It is grand to read the home news, especially when we are in the firing line. Twice it has arrived up there, so you will see how we mark time on the mail. We spent Easter in the firing line, and the weather was very changeable. Good Friday was fine until teatime, when it burst into showers of rain; but the best day was Easter Sunday - a glorious day - and it made us sit and talk of what we would be doing in the dear old town. We had a fair spell in the line this time, and being in an isolated spot we could not purchase our usual supply of cigs., and so we had to go short. If you have any on hand no doubt you will not forget us, as we are still in a desolate spot. One of my mates, the drummer, is a little further away from us, as he is cooking for the band, but I always see some of them, and he does not miss the news, as I think someone gets the paper. Parcels are the first object we aim for when we get out of the line, and then nearly every man gets one, but some get two or three, so then we have a small "bust-up". All join in wishing your paper every success.


Harrogate Herald - 30th May 1917

Photo Page

Wounded - Private W Walker, WY, son of Mr and Mrs J Walker, 15 The Avenue, Starbeck, was wounded in the shoulder on the 3rd May, and is now in hospital at Liverpool.


Harrogate Herald - 1st August 1917

W H Breare letter

Private W Walker, of the Beechwood lot, is a son of Mr & Mrs E Walker of 15 Avenue Street, Starbeck. He was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel on May 3rd, and for the time being has lost the use of the muscles on the right arm. He has been in hospital at Liverpool, but is now, I am glad to say, at Beaulieu, one of our Harrogate Military Hospitals, which perhaps you will remember as being situated in West End Park. While at Liverpool, Walker met Private Pacey, who used to drive for Balmforth. Walker, who went out in January, expressed his thanks for the cigarettes kind friends sent him through me. When he arrived in Harrogate he saw Lupton and Sergeant Croft, both of whom are home for commissions. He likewise told me he saw the two Greetham boys. of Starbeck, were home - one from France, the other from Aldershot. Rather lucky to be home together, isn't it? When Walker got his hurt, he experienced something that seemed like a dispensation of Providence. He was moving breast on the enemy, when "something within", he says, told him to turn round. He did so. It was just at that moment he received the bullet in his shoulder. Had he been facing the other way he would have got it in the heart, what is termed his "billet". He did not get away from the field for two hours. I was interested to hear from him that Wilfred Dickinson, one of our Herald staff, is in India. When Walker enlisted he had been two years with Grayson's. Before that he was employed on the railway.

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