Several Cumberland and Westmorland newspapers reported on the Lonsdales between 1914 – 1918. Reports on the war, notes of the week, the terrible conditions at the front, casualties and obituaries, to name a few provide the reader with a glimpse into a world where hardships were a fact of life, and the horrors of war and losing your friends were a daily routine. Here's one fine example of a chap writing home about his experience of being wounded.
A BIT OF ROTTEN LUCK
Lonsdales Wounded On Way To Trenches
Corporal J. Smith, 11th Borders in a letter to his parents on December 19th, says: -
Just a few lines to let you know that I have been wounded, but I am going on champion.
A piece of shrapnel went clean through my right thigh while I was going into the trenches with my mates. There were two of us knocked out at the same time. We had a bit of rotten luck that day, and the trenches are four feet deep with mud and water. It was very hard for us, seeing we were new to the place. I went through an operation on Wednesday night… They took the tube out of my wound today. I expect I’ll be sent home any time about Christmas… The doctors and nurses are very nice to the wounded. They will do anything to help you… How is everybody at Workington? Give my kind regards to all.
Living day to day surrounded by death and the fear of never seeing loved ones again made the propaganda drive all the more effective as those at home learned about their sons and fathers fighting for the freedoms that many of us today take for granted. The press in recent times, however, enlighten us with stark reminders of bygone times and more often than not, heartwarming tributes of those who served over 100 years ago.Lonsdales in the press