I Have To Inform You…

In yesterday’s entry, Tim Koch of Auriol Kensington RC wrote about War memorials at some British rowing clubs. He ended his piece with the War Memorials they have at his club. Here Tim continues,

Kensington also has what I think may be a unique memorial. It is a bound album with studio photographs of the seventy five of its members who served in the First War, fifteen of whom died. The picture of Colin Mills, who was killed in 1916, is made especially poignant by the letter that we have that was sent from his sergeant to his mother explaining ‘that he could not possibly felt any pain’.

The letter reads:

12th February 1916

Dear Madam,

It is with extreme sorrow that I have to inform you that your son, and our dear friend, Colin was killed yesterday in the trenches at Loos.

Corporal Hughes and I were standing with him discussing a discovery he had made in connection with our work, when he was hit by a bullet in the head. The parapet was rather low and he must have been slightly exposed to the German lines. He received immediate attention from our stretch bearers who were at hand and everything possible was done for him. Afterwards he was taken down to our dressing station, which I had notified, and the R.A.M.C. were waiting with the ambulance which at once took him to the Hospital, all, however, was of no avail, and he died shortly after without regaining consciousness. Our Medical Officer assured me that he could not possibly have felt any pain.

I cannot express the grief felt by all of us who knew him so well, for never have we known one of such a good nature and loveable character. When he joined us in October he immediately became popular and always remained so. In his work with the Company and later, as an observer and sharp shooter he has always been one of my most reliable men. His sad loss has left an absolute gap in our circle and our affections.

We all desire to express our deep regret and sympathy with you in your sad loss.

Yours very sincerely,

George C. Eager, 692
Sgt. Bgde Observer

My warmest thanks to Tim for two very intresting and touching entries!

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