North Yorkshire soldier who lost arm in battle was sent letters of comfort from schoolchildren (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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North Yorkshire soldier who lost arm in battle was sent letters of comfort from schoolchildren
THE DAUGHTER of a soldier who lost his right arm in the First World War has told of the letters schoolchildren sent to her father while he was recovering.
She said it was only when she saw a recent news article about the digitalisation of more than 230,000 wills and letters of WWI soldiers that she remembered them.
Richmond-born Private Arthur Wood went to France with 5th Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, part of the Green Howards, in April 1915.
But within a week he received a bullet to the hip and was sent home, returning to the front 15 months later.
Pte Wood was wounded again, this time losing the lower part of his right arm up to his elbow, in September 1916, just two months after rejoining his comrades.
He was taken to a hospital in Leeds for treatment – where he received letters of support from Richmond schoolchildren who told him about Zeppelin raids, enemy airplanes and their own family members at war.
A girl called Edna wrote: “I’m sorry to hear you have been wounded again.
“I saw five aeroplanes this morning and I spent all night looking for zepps. I think there have been many zepps brought down in Yorkshire – about four zepps in four weeks.
“There was another air raid last night but no casualties.”
Another, called Ada, wrote: “I think you have had your share in war and you will soon get your discharge. The boy of Fawcetts has been killed.”
Olive said: “I’m so sorry to hear you have had your hand blown off. We are sending you some cigs.
“Another zepp has been brought down. Did you know Harry Pickersgil has been killed? He was coming along and a bomb burst and he was killed on the spot.”
Mrs Russell said: “He had a short war, but my sister Dorothy and I are so proud of him - he received a 1914-1915 Star and was eligible for a War Medal and Allied Victory Medal, but did not request them.
“He never spoke about the war, but he never let losing his arm stop him."
The Green Howards Museum is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, but the letters to Pte Wood will be available to view when it reopens next year.
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