Leeds Mercury 1914: Letters from the Front: 23rd October

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.


Mrs. H. Nelson of Bretton West has received a postcard from her husband, a private of the West Yorkshires who is a prisoner of war in Germany.

It will be seen from this that British prisoners in Germany are able to write home and state their wants and state of health.

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It is written on an officially stamped and censored card, obviously supplied for the purpose and headed in English.

At the top it says“Gefangenen Lager” (Prisoner’s Camp) “Doeheritz Germany”

In it Private Nelson says

“I am a prisoner of war in Germany.

I am all right and hope to be home soon. You can write to me but you must not put in anything about the war or they won’t let me have it.

“Will you please send me some cigarettes and some money. You must not send a postal order as that is no good.

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Send it in “money” in a letter with the Woodbines and put in the letter how much you have sent.

Be of good cheer till I come home after the War.”


Writing home to Selby yesterday Gunner Thomas Dugdale of the Royal Field Artillery says he wrote his letter in a pouring rain, and they were having a rough time of it with the weather.

He had been to the guns with ammunition and the Germans had sent a few back but they fell short and he was left alive though he had had some narrow escapes.

He had been in the firing line ever since he came and he should be glad when it was all over.

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Their first fight was at Mons but he got away safe. He was now at Bethune. He had been in Belgium twice but got chased out of it.

“We are not only beating the Germans but they are running away like madmen.

He goes on “Don’t give up the house for I may my Christmas dinner in England yet.

Last night about six o’clock we saw two German batteries just ready for going away.

We opened fire, and completely cut them up.”


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Mr. Kiposchita, a Japanese gentleman well known in Harrogate writing from Tokyo throws light on the fighting in the Far East. He says:-

“Our men are fighting with the same courage and loyalty as in the preceding wars and, among other instances of bravery in the present war we may mention the three sailors who, finding some floating mines, jumped into the sea under a shower of shots from the fortresses and swimming to the mines successfully disposed of them.

The aeroplanes of our army and navy are playing a conspicuous part in the general strategy.

They have made a number of flights over the fortress and were successful in reconnoitering the enemy’s positions.

The bombs which were dropped from them were effective.

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Thus driven into a strait, the Germans at Tsing-Tau have now only a choice between surrender and death and I believe we shall be able to rejoice you with the news of the capture of the port in a short time.

You will also be interested to learn that in spite of the war a special grand maneuver of four divisions is to be carried out in November and the Emperor himself will supervise it.”

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