On this day in Yorkshire 1943

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Wounded Yorkshiremen Home from Middle East

There were scores of Yorkshiremen, including at least two from Bradford and one from Leeds, in the convoy of wounded from the Middle East and North Africa which arrived in Bradford tonight.

The Bradford men were Lieut. James Smee. West Yorkshire Regiment, of Airedale College Terrace, Bradford, and Corporal Jack Hopps, R.A.S.C.. of Southampton Street.

The Leeds man was Bombardier G. Moorhouse, of Fairfield, Oulton.

In the Red Cross train which steamed into Forster Square Station early this evening were 22 officers and 282 other ranks wounded, who were taken by waiting ambulances to the Royal Infirmary, St. Luke’s Hospital and Westwood Hospital.

While members of the W.V.S. gave tea, cigarettes and postcards to the cheerful arrivals, who appeared to be all walking cases, I talked to some the Yorkshiremen.

Lieut. Smee was wounded in the head at El Alamein, and has been hospital at intervals ever since. He went abroad in 1940, and before he enlisted was a schoolmaster at Lilycroft Primary School, Bradford. He was educated at St. Bede’s Grammar School.

His wound was received in an attack in which men of the West Yorkshire Regiment, to use his words, “displayed those characteristics which one expects from men of a Yorkshire regiment.”

Few of the men with whom I talked at the station were surprised at Italy’s surrender.

Corpl. G. Williams, of Torrington Street, Hull, who was captured last June in North Africa, and who had a leg blown off when the ship which was taking him to Italy was torpedoed by a British submarine, said the Italian morale was very low when was captured.

“In fact,” he added. “it was just about broken. They knew they could not win, and they admitted as much to us.”

After being torpedoed, Williams was picked by the British submarine and taken to Malta. From there he went to South Africa.

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