Readers who received letters from men on active service were invited to submit them to the “Leeds Mercury.” Any extracts published were paid for, with the promise that letters would be carefully and promptly returned to the senders.
ARMY OF GENTLEMEN
A French soldier who has spent much time in Harrogate writing to the Harrogate Town Clerk says;
“I have had several occasions of meeting the British troops and chatting with them.
They are behaving splendidly and are a credit to the old country.
They have captured all our hearts by their cheery spirit and undaunted courage and are in fact looked upon as the army of British gentleman, whereas there is nothing too treacherous, mean, low, cruel and atrocious the German hordes stop at.
They have already, and are daily, damning themselves for ever in the eyes of humanity at large.
I have already secured one German infantryman’s equipment - gun, bayonet, belt, knapsack, helmet etc. on the field about a mile on front of our trenches where I ventured one misty morning.
I also have a splinter of a shell which shaved my cheek and that morning saved me from shaving that side of my face.
I was then in a trench and therefore able to pick it up.”
HUSSARS STILL HACKING AWAY
Trooper George Haynes, eldest son of Mr. J. H. Haynes of the George Hotel at Selby writes to his father from the 15th Hussars “B” Squadron with the 2nd Division of the British Expeditionary Forces in France under date of October 22nd:-
“We still keep hacking away at the enemy and continue to have the best of it.
It is amazing where all the Germans keep coming from. Heaps are lying about dead.
“I met a Selby chap yesterday - Waltham by name - who is with the Grenadier Guards.
Of course we had a long chat together. The weather is becoming cold now, and not by any means pleasant especially at night.
Still, one must put up with a little hardship at times.”