Harrogate Herald - 7th February 1917
[Very small extract out of a very long and
interesting letter by Private D T Wilks from India]
Our camp is not far away from my old comrade, C
Hull, but up to now I have not got into touch with him, though I did
hear, from one of our YMCA friends that he had been acting as
"best man" at the wedding of the officer whose life he
saved when he got the VC.
Harrogate Herald - 8th January 1919
W H Breare letter
Trooper H G Smith, of the Dragoon Guards, one of the
seven Harrogate men in the same regiment, was in the Army at the
outbreak of war, and is on Christmas leave from his depot. His time
was up two years ago, and he shortly expects his discharge. His
sister, Miss Ivy G A Smith, was one of the first Harrogate girls to
go on munitions, and has been presented with a shell in recognition
of her full services. [See photograph in this issue] Her eldest
sister was also on munitions. Trooper Smith joined the Regular Army
at the same time as Harry Petty, one of Mr and Mrs J R Petty's six
sons, who quickly rallied to the Colours when the war broke out, and
was in the same class at Western Council School as Charley Hull, the
Harrogate VC, who is in India.
Harrogate Herald - 12th November 1919
The Harrogate VC, Corporal Charles Hull, of the 21st
Lancers, son of Mr and Mrs John Hull, of Albert Terrace, reached
home on Monday night, after being away some nine years. His arrival
was totally unexpected by his family, as, though it was known late
in the day that the ship In which he had crossed had docked at
Portsmouth on Saturday, the messages he had sent from the ship were
delayed in transit, and he was still believed to be in the South. As
a matter of fact, Corporal Hull had journeyed North on Sunday night,
and the train on its way to the Ripon Dispersal Camp ran through
Harrogate early on Monday morning. The VC kept a sharp look-out at
Harrogate to recognise friends and acquaintances, but at half-past
six o'clock there were very few people about, and none that he knew.
He was busy with kit matters at Ripon during the day, and in the
evening he came to Harrogate and pleasantly surprised his parents by
his appearance. Corporal Hull looked the picture of health after the
Indian campaign, and has grown and filled out after the nine years
abroad so much that his acquaintances have to look twice to
recognise in the stalwart soldier the man who went away. He has
nearly twelve years' service in the Army, and is on a month's
furlough, at the end of which he is taking leave of the Army.
Corporal Hull was a postman in Harrogate before he joined the
Colours. His father is an old employee of the Harrogate Corporation.
Corporal Hull won the VC in the 1915 operations on
the north-west frontier of India by gallantly going to the rescue of
Captain G E D Learoyd, who had been unhorsed, and was surrounded by
his enemies, and who would have been killed but for the behaviour of
Corporal Hull. The Harrogate soldier got his officer up behind him
on his horse, and carried him to safety from amid the native enemy.
Captain Learoyd died in Risalpur about a year ago. He was suddenly
taken ill with influenza, and this turned to pneumonia, to which he
succumbed in hospital.
Corporal Hull, in addition to the VC, was awarded
the Croix de Guerre by the French.
The father of Captain Learoyd presented the
Harrogate VC with a handsome gold watch and chain, suitable
The parents of Corporal Hull received the following
letters from Captain Learoyd's father :
Launds Abbey, Leicester
Dear Sir, I have only just become acquainted with
your address, and hasten to congratulate you and Mrs Hull on your
son's well-earned VC for his very gallant and brave action in saving
my son in the action at Shabkadir. You may well imagine how grateful
Mrs Learoyd and I and all our family we feel towards your son, and
look forward to the day when we may thank him personally. I also
intend coming to see you sometime, but shall have to postpone the
pleasure some time, as I am not very well at present. With our
kindest regards to you and Mrs Hull,
Believe me, yours very sincerely,
A E Learoyd
Dear Mr Hull, I am very sorry I could not find time
to come over to Harrogate to hand you the watch and chain for your
gallant son, so I decided to send it you by post. Again I should
like to say how grateful my family feel towards your son, and how
sincerely we congratulate you, his parents, in owning such a
splendid fellow for a son. May he soon come to you safe and sound.
Yours very sincerely,
A E Learoyd
It would be in accordance with the fitness of things
if the townspeople were given an opportunity of publicly welcoming
Corporal Hull back to his native town.
Harrogate Herald – 30th June 1920
Among those present at the King's garden party to
winners of the VC, were Mr and Mrs Smith Bell and Mrs Donald Bell.
"Don" Bell, as he was popularly known, made the great
sacrifice shortly after the award, but had he lived the day would
have been the happiest in his life. Mr Smith Bell was struck by the
simplicity and humanity of the party, and speaks in high terms of
the King's great interest in the men. Corporal Hull, who was also
present with his parents, is now a policeman at Leeds. His mother
was delighted that His Majesty should remember the circumstances
under which her boy won his VC, and speaks highly of the welcome
Harrogate Herald – 6th October 1920
Mr Charles Hull, VC, of Harrogate, who won the
bronze cross as a shoeing-smith with the 21st Lancers on the Indian
Frontier in 1916, and who is now a constable in the Leeds Police
Force, was married at All Hallows' Church, l, on Saturday afternoon,
to Mrs Eliza Ann Brown, of Rosebank Grove, Leeds.
The ceremony was performed by the Vicar (the Rev A B
Fisher) in the presence of a large congregation.
Harrogate Herald - 4th July 1956
Photo - "In Proud Memory" - Lieutenant Colonel G E B
Stephenson is pictured as he unveiled a plaque in St Peter's School,
Harrogate, on Friday, in memory of the school's two holders of the
Victoria Cross, the late Second Lieutenant Donald Simpson Bell, of
the Green Howards, and the late Private Charles Hull, of the 21st
Lancers, who won their awards in 1916. on the left is the Mayor of
Harrogate, Councillor Edwin Pickard.