France, May 26, 1915
Bert Carpenter was lying asleep in his dugout when a shell exploded at the top of the trench. A piece of shell hit him on the head and he died without a murmur. I want you to convey the news to his mother the best way you can. Bert and I had agreed that, in case one of us got hit, the other would write home to break the news. Bert was well thought of in the Second Battalion. Everybody speaks highly of him. This news will bring great sorrow to his family. One never knows when time will be up out here. Sorrow has come to many a heart in the past nine months and I hope these brave men have not died in vain. The German Empire will have to be smashed to bring peace to the world.
I haven't much news to write. You can assure Bert's father and mother that no man could have done his duty better than their son. The Second Battalion lost one of their best men when Bert was killed.
The shells are flying over my head as I write this letter. Away to my right the French are engaged in heavy artillery bombardment. It was good news to hear that Heber Rogers was a prisoner in Germany and not killed in action as was first reported.
I must close now Mother but will write and tell you more when I come out of the trenches. Please convey my deepest sympathy to Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter.