June 30th., 1917
Dear Mr. Rowat,
As the chaplain whose duty it was to read the burial service over your heroic son, I am taking this opportunity of expressing my sincere sympathy for you in your great bereavement. Your son was killed by a German shell in a dug-out in our front line. The merciful feature about his death is that it came instantly, and did not cause him any prolonged agony.
Although your son had been with the battalion but a short time, by his winning manner he had succeeded in becoming one of our most popular officers. The best tribute that can be paid to his memory is that "He played the game". The deepest regret is felt throughout the entire battalion, both officers and men, over his death. He won his way into the hearts of the men by his dramatic readings from Robert Service. Although I had known your son but a few months, I had learned to respect him as a soldier and a man. May the divine Father comfort you in your time of need. I am confident that your son has gone to meet the One who also gave His life for a cause.
We buried your son in a military cemetery some miles back of the front line, where his grave will not be disturbed by the desecrating shells of the enemy. In the course of a few days a cross will be erected to his memory by the battalion. The military authorities will not allow us to disclose the location of the cemetery, but if you write to the following address they will send you full particulars, and a photograph of tho grave, if you desire the same:-
Director of Graves, Registration and Enquiries,
St. James' Sq.,
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Harry B. Clarke, Capt.
Chaplain, 38th Battalion,