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WWI soldiers’ diary from time in Huddersfield War Hospital

A FIRST World War diary created by injured troops recuperating in Huddersfield is going under the hammer this month.

WWI soldiers’ diary from time in Huddersfield War Hospital

A FIRST World War diary created by injured troops recuperating in Huddersfield is going under the hammer this month.

The old book – featuring drawings, poems and messages expressing soldiers’ deepest thoughts about the war – will go up for auction in Leeds.

The historic dossier was compiled during 1915 and 1916 in one of Huddersfield’s war hospitals.

Diary
Diary
Diary
Diary

There were hospitals in several areas, including sites in Holmfirth, Paddock and Meltham Mills.

The extracts are all dedicated to Nurse Cook, who is thought to have cared for the injured men.

A large part of the work depicts what life was like serving in the Battle of the Somme and includes dramatic art scenes.

The diary was found dumped in a Huddersfield skip by the brother of a Huddersfield woman – who wants to remain anonymous.

It is now hoped it will be snapped up by a local institution to allow a piece of history to remain in the town.

Auctioneer Gary Don said: “It is one of the most interesting things I have ever come across. It is quite remarkable.

Diary
Diary

“It is by the soldiers injured in the Somme during World War One who were brought to a dedicated war hospital in Huddersfield.

“There is lots of detail in there, talking about things like what they ate before they went over the top.

“It is like a thank-you book, or even a confession book in parts.

“Some of the drawings show these soldiers had been through an awful lot. It is so interesting.

“We are hoping an institution in Huddersfield will be interested in purchasing this to keep its history here.”

Many of the drawings were done by Private J.W.Cummings.

The works of Privates P Whittle, G Pears of the Middlesex regiment, B K Boothroyd, B Kitching and Fred J Wright are also included.

The auction will take place at Gary Don Auctioneers, on York Road, Leeds, on November 16 at 3pm.

Two other Huddersfield lots will be appearing on the day.

A Huddersfield man’s photograph collection of warships involved in both World Wars is also up for grabs.

Around 40 albums will go under the hammer, which also feature information on what each warship did in the conflict.

The 1835 log of a Hull ship is also being sold by a Huddersfield collector, detailing all the passengers on board.

For further details visit www.garydon.co.uk

A WAR DIARY EXTRACT: “Discomfort in the trenches”

By Fred J Wright 25/08/1916

When you take King George’s shilling

And express yourself as willing

To come out and fight the Hun

Then your troubles have begun

For you’ll always have to fight

Against the pilgrims of the night

There are many things out here

That you will mistake I fear

Hardships that you must contend

While your country you defend

But the thing to make you grouse

Is that aggravating louse

When you’re going off to sleep

They’re forming up two deep

When you’re in the land of nod

They’re forming up in a squad

And you’ll find it most annoying

When the section starts deploying

 

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