Wilfred Howson

My mother was Ellen Hazel Howson born in the Foxholes Cottages in Methley Parish in 1910. Her brother Wilfred Howson is commemorated on the war memorial in Methley churchyard (however with the incorrect spelling of Wilfrid).

I myself remember staying there (in Methley) as a small boy during and at the end of WWll, when it was still a miners cottage. Before my mother died she gave me all the documentation relating to her brother Wilfred, who was killed in Belgium in 1917, I also have various letters from him, and some letters and photos he was carrying when he was killed.
There are also a number of letters of condolence from friends and neighbours far and wide, which make interesting reading as well as may provide various names and addresses.
I have, of course, done a military research into his service with the 10th Bn. Yorks & Lancs Regt., from his attestation at Castleford, being wounded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, convalescence, returning to France, up until he was killed 6 months later.

From Peter Greenall in Kettering – Peter provided me with further documentation relating to Wilfred which will be published separately. For the moment below is a copy of a poem entitled Someone – Somewhere penned by Wilfred from the trenches.

Someone   –   Somewhere

Someone’s  sitting in a dugout, writing home by candle light.
cheery letters for the old folks, for the post bag goes tonight.
And he knows his Mother’s anxious now her boy is far away.
So he tries to put on paper all the love he feels to-day.
Things he never thought to tell her while he had the chance
Someone’s learnt a lot of lessons somewhere in France.
Someone used to be a waster in the days of long ago.
Not a very long time either, only eighteen months or so;
But it feels more like a lifetime, every day feels just the same.
Still he’s learnt to give up grousing, someone’s learnt to play the game.
And he’s all the better for it, someone’s got his chance.
Someone’s found his missing manhood somewhere in France.

Has Nellie started her lessons yet, if so, I hope she is getting on alright.
let her know if you get the book alright and I hope you have not to pay another 2d for it.
Well I have no more news so I will close.
                   With best love

                    From Wilf     xxxxxxx
(ps)        Give my kindest regards to Willie

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