Sept. 10th 17
Dear Mrs. McMahon:
I received your letter this morning and the news of poor Major’s death left me dumfounded.
At first it was hard for me to realize it was true. But in this war it’s our best and most gallant boys who go first.
I have lost one of my truest friends and you a loving and devoted brother. I’m sure you and your poor Mother must feel ‘his loss’ very keenly.
This war is awful and there are thousands of homes today that mourn the loss of a father, a husband or brother. Many people are left brokenhearted and alone.
When I read the news in your letter I said to myself, “It’s your turn next.” For I expect to go back and join my Battalion about the last of this month. I would have been back some time ago had not my wound opened out again. I had to undergo a slight operation to have a bit of metal removed.
I saw in the paper that Jack had been gassed and later one of the boys wrote me and said that he was getting on fine so he had heard.
It’s strange that I did not see Major’s name in the casualty list for I scan each day’s list to see if there’s anyone’s name that I know in it.
Why is it that only those who count most in the world are taken from us? It is strange but very true. The good for nothing who joins the Army is in most cases left, yet the best boys (Major was one of the very, very best) are always the first to go.
Extend to you, your Mother and the rest of the family my heartfelt sympathy. God so willed that he must die-but there shall always be that consolation for you that he did not die in vain-but gave his life to uphold the great and glorious cause of righteousness.
I’m writing to some of the boys in the platoon for information regarding the way in which he died and if I get the information, I shall forward it on to you.
Lieut. Hector MacNeil
Nova Scotia Regtl. Depot