Princess of Wales's Own
Commission Document 1918.
Kindly contributed by Pat Goodship, niece of William
Alexander Harrison, who by the document below was commissioned into the 4th Yorks Battalion in June 1918 and was eventually promoted to
He was just a Private in the Army Service Corps when he first came to France in March 1916 and was not promoted to Officer rank
until 26 June 1918, when he joined the 4th Yorks.
By this time the shortage of infantrymen had grown acute.
At some time and for some, as yet unknown, action he was awarded the French decoration the Bronze Croix de Guerre with palm.
In December 1918, after the
Armistice of the previous month, he was posted to Fort Macdonald near Lille, which had been a German
Prisoner of War Camp and had gained a terrible reputation among Allied POWs for the abusive treatment they had suffered there.|
Now it held German captives.
When the time came for them to be repatriated the Germans presented Harrison with a DIY certificate.
On a piece of War Office paper they painted the Allied flags and a crown at the top and underneath prisoners sat round a dining
The citation read:-
"2nd Lt W A Harrison, 226 POW Coy.
WE GERMAN PRISONERS OF WAR FROM THE 226 POW COY WISH TO THANK YOU FOR THE HUMANE AND FAIR TREATMENT WHAT WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU
DURING THE PERIODE OF TIME, IN WHICH YOU HVE BEEN IN COMMAND OF US. ON THE CAUSE OF OUR REPATRIATION WE BID YOU FAREWELL AND WISH
YOU THE VERY BEST OF LUCK AND PROSPERITY FOR THE FUTURE. IN THE NAME OF THE WHOLE COMPANY WE SIGN."
[The signatures of the RSM, QMS, 2 Sgts,2 Privates and the Interpreter follow.]