AN ACCOUNT OF LIEUT. DOXSEE'S DEATH
The following letter to his sister is from Pte. Jas. W. Deremo, son of Mrs. Jas Deremo of town, and who enlisted in Toronto, and is secretary of Brigadier General Mercer:
At front, July 17th, 1915.
My Dear Sister Helena:
I am just writing a few lines to-night, as we have been quite busy of late. Am in the best of health and spirits. Have just succeeded in obtaining a full account of Mr. Doxsee's death from a man who was with him when he was killed. The man himself was afterwards wounded, and has just returned from hospital. His name and address is Pte. F.J. Hawkins, No.5 Platoon, No.2 Company, 2nd Canadian Battalion.
It was on the 22nd of April that the Germans launched their attack with the aid of poisonous gas. Lieut. Doxsee's Regiment, the 2nd Canadian Battalion went into action that night. During the following day and night, the 23rd of April, this regiment working with the 10th Canadian Battalion, had driven the Germans back over part of the ground lost on the 22nd. It was at the very place where the Canadian guns were recaptured by the Canadian Scottish.
On the morning of the 24th April, Lieut. Doxsee and a number of his men were stationed in an attic of a ruined farm house near a wood. They were sniping from a hole where some bricks had been misplaced. The Germans were again trying to advance. Mr. Doxsee was now doing valuable work. Men who were there at the time, positively state that Mr. Doxsee, himself accounted for a number of Germans. He laid down his rifle, smiling with satisfaction at the work done. He then picked up his binoculars to observe, when a rifle bullet struck the glasses and penetrated his head just between the eyes. His death was instantaneous, he never murmured, nor did he suffer any pain.
In the evening he was given a short but very respectable burial service, in spite of the heavy attacks at that time. The burial services were lead by an officer of the Regiment. Am very sorry that it is not possible for me to give you the exact location of his grave at the present time, however Mr. Doxsee's relatives will receive that information at some future date from the Graves Registration Committee. You will no doubt remember Mr. Doxsee was wounded last march, but had returned to his Regiment before his wound was healed. He was loved by his men, and by all who knew him. I have no hesitation in saying that he was one of the most popular officers at the front. There was not a man in his company who could not follow him through anything. You would always find him in the most dangerous fighting. He was afraid of nothing.
It is a great loss to the regiment, and to the Brigade to lose such a brave officer. He worked for his men and for his Regiment, and was always cheerful in the most painful circumstances. It was a notable fact that he would never ask his men to do anything or take any risks, when it was possible to take them himself.
His family must be very happy to know how brave a member they had. We all offer our deepest sympathy to them in the sorrow, which we share, but should like to let them know that, although a great number of the boys have gone to that land where there is eternal peace, there are some left to avenge the death of their pals in this great fight for the liberty of the world against the inhuman German hordes.
Campbellford can be justly proud of her hero. We are confident she will send many more to fill the ranks of the fallen brave and to take the brunt of the battle, shoulder to shoulder with the boys who are lucky enough to be here. We patiently await their arrival.
With love and all good wishes, as ever,
Your loving brother,