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Armistice 100: Soldier’s appeal to Loiners and Americans come to Leeds

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August 9, 1918: On this day in 1918, an appeal was made by a wounded soldier, one Jock McRae, to allow those injured in action to be allowed to sit in priority seats on trams and not to have to wait in line.

His letter, published in the Yorkshire Evening Post, stated: “I, as a wounded soldier, ask the Leeds Tramways Manager to publish inside each car a notice requesting civilian passengers to allow an infirm soldier or civilian to take a seat just inside the car.”

He relates one incident in which an infirm girl was made to stand while able bodied passengers took all the seats.

In another report from the same day, it was said that Leeds was delighted to be able to offer Americans on leave the chance to enjoy the hospitality of the city.

The first guests were 20 members of the US Air Force, who were met at the station by members of the hospitality committee, before being whisked off to “large houses” in Roundhay and Headingley.

One of the hosts commented: “They are a fine lot of men. One of the men staying with me is of Spanish descent.”

Those doing the hosting were “relieved of rationing problems as far as possible”

Of utmost importance was that the American guests had a good time.

To this end, they were each welcomed into their respective houses as family members. On their last day, they were offered the chance to play golf, go bowling or play tennis at the Potternewton club.

And finally, there was a report detailing the passing out parade for the Women’s Land Army.

Esholt was one of four training centres for the West Riding Women’s War Agricultural Committee, whose headquarters were in Leeds.