At times the news that was received by families from the Home Front was incorrectly reported which lead to them unexpectedly mourning their loved ones only to find out later that they were indeed alive and not dead. Such is the case as outlined  below with Pte. George England.

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March 28, 1918

Dear Sir

Two days ago, upon receipt of casualty list from the Militia Department, I sent you a letter tendering the sympathy of the Government in the loss of your son, George, who was reported killed in action on the 13th March. It gives me pleasure now to tender congratulations upon the news which the Minister of Militia has already communicated to you, namely, that your son is safe and serving with the Battalion. It is but seldom that we have the pleasure of communicating such good news as this in connection with the present war and I feel sure that, though you and his friends must have suffered upon the receipt of the first intimation, the job that is consequent upon the message that he is safe is all the greater. In the turmoil and confusion of war, I can quite understand how such mistakes are made but it will tend to show, I think, that your boy took an active part in the action and showed such courage and bravery as led him into positions of great danger, out of which they did not think he could come with safety. By Godís good providence, however, he has been brought through and I trust that he may under the same guidance and protection be brought back to you in safety at the close of the war. The courage and endurance of our boys and the proud record they have made for themselves are things that will never be forgotten but we prize just as highly the loyalty and unselfishness of the mothers and the fathers that have sent them forth to do their part for their King and their Country.

Permit me, therefore, to share with you in the joy at the good news which was lately communicated to you.

Yours faithfully,

Acting Colonial Secretary

Mr. David England
28 Spencer St.

Source: GN 2.14.298, The Rooms, Provincial Archives, St. John's, NL
 

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