Monday, May 10, 2010
I received your letter to your son today but I am afraid I cannot give you any definite information about him. On the 14th last our Batt. Was doing its tour in the trenches, your son’s platoon occupied one of the advanced lines. In the late afternoon some trenches, including the one your son was in, were blown up, this was at once followed by an advance of the enemy supported by heavy shelling on the Shermans getting round the flanks of the trench run, fellows retired to the support ………….
One of the platoon saw your son leave the trench to retire but he did not arrive in the supported trench so the only conclusion we can come to is that he was hit. At the best he is wounded & a prisoner, but I am afraid it is a very faint hope would not like to raise your hopes too much so I must say there is every likelihood he died on the field. Our stretcher bearers searched the ground two days after, on the invitation of the Germans, and brought in all the wounded but your son was not among those brought in. If I get any news later on I will let you know. Please accept my sympathy. We are all inclined to feel a bit quiet in this Coy as we lost very heavy on the 14th, practically all the Sergts being killed or wounded, & two officers killed & one wounded out of three, only two senior n.c.o.’s returned from that fight. Your son’s platoon sergt was
The one who came out safe (the Coy Sgt Major was the other) & he wishes me to say he is sorry he lost sight of him but they happened to be in different parts of the trench & you can understand the confusion when parts of the trench started upheaving.
He (the Platoon Sergt) says that he considers your son was a smart young chap & we can ill afford to loose great soldiers all this time ############################
############### (I hope the censors will not erase that). If you wish to write me again my rank is Coy Q M: Sergt of “C” Company. I should be only too please if I could give you any definite information but in the confusion of an attack many men are lost sight of. In conclusion I would like to say that there is one thing you can be proud of, your son met his end (if he is really dead) taking part in a stubborn defence which earned the praise of the H.O.C. & saved the line from being pierced.
Believe me to be yours sincerely