Queen Mary’s Military Hospital,
Walley, Lancashire, England.
May 20th 1917.
Mr. J. Anderson
No dobt you have long since been notified of the sad news of your Son Henry’s death. But as I thot you might like to hear of it, from one who was with him at the time, I’ve deceided to write you a few lines, even at this late date.
Henery was a friend of mine, we had much in common, coming from the same district, inlisting in the same Batt., were drafted to the same Batt. in France, and served on the same m.g. crew, which Henry was in charge of. We saw many months active service together, and had many narrow escapes. Once in the Somme, I helped to dig Henry out, when he and three others of the crew were buried by a shell. But we both escaped injury untill the eventual battle of Vimy Ridge, on April 9th.
We went over the top at 5.30 A.M. just at day break, that morning. Henery was cool and smiling as usual, setting a good example for the others. We were in the first wave of the attact, and as soon as the barrage commenced, we went over the top. We took the first three lines of German trenches, and had accounted for a good number of Fritzes, and were almost to our first objective where our Coy. was to dig in, when Henry was hit. A shrapnel shell burst directly over him, and a piece struck him on the head. His death was instantanious, and he could have felt no pain. It’s the sort of death every Soldier
[remainder of letter missing]