Revd. Andrew Rowat
Dear Mr. Rowat,
In the Ottawa papers I read the reference to the unveiling of the Tablet erected to the hallowed memory of your gallant and brave son Lieut. T.A. Rowat, of the 38th Regt. Canadians, and I take this opportunity of writing to you and telling you that I had the good fortune to meet your noble son in France.
While naturally we all keenly feel the loss of those who are so near and dear to us, still at times, like the present, we realize that our heroic men are making the supreme sacrifice for all that we hold dear and sacred; and that a kind and good providence will see that all is well with our splendid men. If those of us who are left behind will only measure up in our manhood to those who have made their sacrifice, the world will be better of our having lived. Though not of your son’s Regt., still I was one of those fortunate officers who was attached to his Regt., the gallant 38th., and I had the pleasure of hearing your son deliver an enthusiastic and clever speech at a Dinner given in honour of Major McDowell, V.C. somewhere in France. The next day in talking to your hero son I congratulated him upon his speech, which was excellent in form, thought and delivery. We then talked over many things. He said "Well Major you know we are for the firing line in a day or so now, and I have the feeling that I may be among the Casualties this time". We talked then somewhat seriously about conditions prevailing in the world at large and Lieut. Rowat hoped that "Good would come after such great sacrifices.
Your splendid soldier son was highly thought of by all with whom he associated, as one and all recognized in him a man in the best sense of the word.
I saw the 38th Battn. capture the First line trenches on the 26th June, and as I was ordered to report at another place, I was not aware of the fact that Lieut. Rowat had made the Great sacrifice till weeks after. How proud we all are that our Canadian manhood has risen to the great occasions and are proving themselves the best type in the world. Our empire and the world can never repay the noble fathers and mothers who have given to us such a type of manhood as is now battling for humanity, civilization and the highest ideals.
May He Who controls and governs all things deal gently with you and all of your household, and my you receive most bountifully from His hands that consolation and comfort which He alone can give us when the real things of life are pressing down on us.
Lennox Irving, Lt. Col.
County of Renfrew.
P.S. I have my youngest brother in the trenches who was in the same engagement as your son on the 28th June. He came through all right. Then I have the only sons of my two brothers also in France, so we can sympathize and feel for each other in our anxious moments. "L.I."