Soldier – Horsman W.A. – Conisbrough Gunner at Kut

April 1916

Mexborough Times, Saturday, April 22, 1916

Conisbrough Gunner At Kut
No News For Five Months

Mr W.C.Horsman of 41 Ivanhoe Road, Conisbrough, has a son who is one of the gallant band of heroes who are so bravely holding their own in besieged Kut-el-Amara. No news has been received from him since November, and today’s prospects of news from the front are by no means hopeful. The war record of the Horsman family is a proud one, and worthy of emulation. Mr Horsman writes as follows:

“Dear Sir,

We hear very little personal news from members of the Mesopotamian force, so perhaps a little information on that head may be of interest to your readers. I have a son who has served through the whole of that campaign, and some of his experiences would read more like romance than fact. Gunner W.A.Horsman, R.F.A., served five years in India previous to the outbreak of the war. He was one of the Indian expeditionary force dispatched to the Persian Gulf in November 1940, was in the fight at Fao, where he was wounded, also in the actions of Shaiba, Ahwarz and Amara, where he was again wounded. Later on he was present at the battle of Kut-el-Amara, when he was shot through both legs, and lay on the battlefield all night, and escaped the destruction meted out to many of the wounded by the looting Arabs.

We have had no news of him since he became convalescent in November 1915, and we hope and conclude that he’s still alive and with the besieged force in Kut. This force has undoubtedly experienced exceptional hardships in the way of alternative in heat and cold and floods, being at times subjected to extremes of temperature, varying from 130 to 140° in the shade to freezing cold at nights. Apart from this, there has been the difficulty of supplies and many other hardship’s best known only to the men who have had them to contend with. During the length of this campaign he has been on the headquarters staff, and I am proud to tell you that he was mentioned in general Nixons dispatches, published in April 6.

I have had three other sons at the front in France for 12 months, Haydn, Cecil and Stanley, the latter of whom was just completing his 16th year when his division arrived in the trenches last April. Stanley was wounded in the leg by a bursting bomb. The three boys belong to the 1/5 K.O.Y.L.I.(Denaby detachment) and were in training at Whitby when the war broke out. I had a nephew in the ninth lancers, who died through gas poisoning last May, and another one in the R.E. One of my sisters is a Red Cross nurse, and my oldest son is an enlisted Derby man. He has a private business of his own, but is ready to go if called. Finally I may add that my oldest son’s wife has also four brothers in active service in the Canadian contingent, one of whom is now a prisoner in Germany.

May I say in conclusion that we are all, I think deservedly, proud of our family record, and if all others are done as much in proportion to their ability they would not now be such an urgent call for recruits.”