Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: 1918
Mr. Reid


Dear Mr Reid:

Capt Crowell who commands C Co has just shown me your letter of [?] 1st enquiring about your son Donnie- I am very very sorry but in many cases we are only [?] able to write the friends at home of the gallant when we have last [?] [?] particular case there was only one officer left in the company where the operation was through and he has since been evacuated sick- I am trying myself to catch up an accurate location of two [?] of what is probably the [?] continuous fighting which the battalion has ever had and are writing to all just as fast as I possibly can- I appreciate the fact that there is [?] a ward of [?] in your letter but I feel that it is due to you to know why particulars have not been received. We feel here that the least we can do is to write to those at home of [?] dear ones and no doubt to you in your anxiety it must seem strange that information does not come to bank more promptly.

Donnie's passing was the result of a Hun Bomb which was dropped just at the back of the building where the Battalion was waiting for a train to take us up to the assembly position for the [?] operation. All of C Co Headquarters staff were near where the Bomb struck and the casualities were very heavy. It was dark of course at the time and there was a great deal of debris. We found your son just where he had been standing talking with his chums. A heavy beam had struck him impairing him very severely in both legs. He was unconscious. The medical officer was tight there and did everything he possibly could but the poor lad went out within 10 minutes after the explosion. He never spoke. The [?] of that night will be with [?] [?]. Donnie had been through the [?] operation and the [?] operation and it had been arranged that for [?] show he should be left at the horse lines to act in the Quartermasters stores while the Company [?] Sergeant was on leave. The sad part of it is that before they got to the horse lines which came to established at our assembly position both your son and the Quartermaster Sergeant who would be due for leave in a day or two were both killed that night.

When I tell you that he was to be left out of this show you will understand how faithfully he had worked in the [?]. He was in charge of the Company runners from about the 1st of July and the work of the runners both in the armies and the army show was beyond all praise. They had to go long distances under fire. They had not the protection of a trench as in ordinary trench [?] tours because it was open warfare in country where the Bosch never expected to need a defensive system of trenches.

Our boys are all I think very strong in the spirit of comradeship but the son of yours seemed to have particulary endeared himself to those who knew him and from [?] [?] down there was universal and very genuine. Sorrow that night when they found "Donnie" Reid had made the supreme sacrifice. I'm talking over the terrible events of the occasion his home was one of the first on the lips of everyone and there was but one sentiment expressed and that was that he would be universally missed. He was wonderfully bright and cheery at all times and under the worst trying condition, he was efficient in his work and showed ability in any task which he took on. His courage was absolutely unwavering and those who were closest to him in his work all speak of the pleasure they had in working with him.

Captain Hunter our chaplain received at Arras Station that night in order to arrange that those who had gone should receive the honorable and Christian burial to which they were entitled. Next day they were laid away in their last resting place in a registered cemetery but far from Arras. The battalion was erected a substantial cross to mark his honored grave.

His personal effects were sent to you but they will probably not reach you for three months as they have to go through the estates office in London.

If there is any [?] [?] I can give you I will be very grateful if you would let me know. I realize how futile words are at times like these. You have the warmest sympathy of everyone who knew "Donnie" officers and men [?] [?] [?] [?] [?] and love for him.

Very personal regret at his passing and my sympathy for you in your loss which is also ours is very genuine.

Sincerely yours

Original Scans

Original Scans