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Fitter Wilson


Harrogate Herald - 3rd March 1915

Fitter Wilson, whose home is at Hampsthwaite, is "fit" and joined his depot on the 2nd March.

[This may be Cpl H Wilson]

W H Breare letter

Fitter Wilson, of Hampsthwaite, called in to see me on Friday. He is invalided home with a bad throat. He belongs to the artillery, and those chaps are not billeted in the towns and villages, therefore they have to get in where they can and rather further away from the comforts of civilisation. You know what the weather has been and how much there has been of it. Well, he had to sleep over an intensely rural pig sty that had not received attention for - well - ages. He has never had trouble with his throat before, but under these conditions it came, an abscess formed. He was so bad they sent him to a Manchester hospital, where he had an operation. He is nearly well now and will be returning to the Front by the time you read this. Wilson is thoroughly enthusiastic about the artillery, and remarked that if the young men at home only knew the life and conditions of the artillery branch of the service they would rush for it. No trench business. It is life. Full of excitement and satisfaction. Like the rest of the boys he was chock full of admiration and good feeling towards his commanding officer. It was with a regretful voice he told me they were losing him. He has been made a colonel. They had met with very few casualties. This he attributed to the extreme care the officer took of his men. They could and would follow him anywhere. It was nice to hear Wilson speak thus of his major, and he said it with all the enthusiasm of conviction. Between you and me, Wilson is a good sort - a real, white man.

"If any man tells you he wants to go back to the Front, don't you believe it; he's trying to make himself think so. Now, I wouldn't be kicked out of the artillery. I like it; but I'd rather be at home, and so would any man if circumstances permitted it".

The above is what Wilson said to me. I quite understand it. You boys have no wish to creep out of your responsibility. You are, like every other Briton; determined to see the thing successfully through. Like everybody else, you will be glad when it is over; but you are not going to say you prefer war to peace, or the battlefield to the dear home for which you are fighting. You also know that upon your success depends not only the peace and prosperity of the world, but the freedom and protection of the weak against the strong.



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