Leeds Mercury 1914: Letters from the Front

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Readers who receive letters from men on active service are invited to submit them to the “Leeds Mercury.”

Any extracts published will be paid for, and letters will be carefully and promptly returned to the senders.


Corporal Warren, of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, sends a letter to his wife at Alverthorpe, who had been left in a delicate condition.

“I sincerely hope you have got over the confinement all right and that you will be able to greet me with the baby in your arms before long; I am hoping that the war will not last long and that I shall be with you soon. So keep up your spirits and always say that I am away from you for a good cause.”

After sending personal messages to his friends and relatives, the writer asks, “Will you send me a few ‘cigs’ as we cannot get any here.”
 Mr Thomas Yates, Wesleyan Evangelist, of Wakefield, who forwards this letter, adds that the baby thus referred to did not live. The poor little child was a victim to the war just as surely as if death had overtaken it on the battlefield.

“This is one more murder that the Emperor of Germany is responsible for”, says Mr Yates. Happily Mrs Warren lives, and in the near future we trust she will be able to greet her husband on his return from the scene of warfare, where he is at present doing his duty with the Infantry Brigade.


A Todmorden petty officer, writing home to his mother, describes the sinking of the German mine-laying vessel, the Konigin Luise, from the Lance, on which he is serving.

“We sighted the Konigin Luise about ten am and gave chase. We fired a blank shot across her bows, but she would not stop, so we gave her a few rounds of lyddite. We were firing from 11.15 and at 12.25 she heeled over and sank. We picked up five officers and 23 men, some of whom were terribly wounded. I don’t think I shall ever forget the sight. But we did all we could for them.

“Then, when we were coming into harbour we saw the Amphion strike one of the mines which the Germans had been engaged in laying, and she went down with 131 gallant lads on board.

“I tell you, mother, it made me feel wild to think of the pity I had wasted over those we had rescued.”

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