4.7.16

My Dear Mrs. Ayre

I am writing to tell you that poor old Burn has been killed. His Coy led the attack on the 1st & did magnificently this was due entirely to Burnís fine leadership it would be impossible to express in words the skill, coolness & courage that he showed. He started off in his most characteristic manner smoking his pipe & directing & leading on the men with his stick. He was killed just before reaching the objective & died instantly. He suffered nothing, he has just simply died a real heroís death & we are all very very proud of him.
I knew him better than anyone else & you know how deeply I sympathize with you. I feel sure that he pride you must have in him which everyone here & especially his company share, will be some comfort to you in your great loss.
I recovered his body yesterday & had it brought down to the cemetery, the Chaplain held a service over the grave with guns roaring all round; more than 100 of us attended the service although everyone was exhausted this again shows how he was loved & respected. 
I am sending some letters which have just arrived for him & his kit will be sent home, it will take some time to arrive.
Please let one know if there is anything I can do. We lost many of the very best, but we won our objective.
I wish you could hear what everyone individually thinks of Burn, they will never forget him & he has set a wonderful example.

Your affectionably,

John F Loane
P.T.O

P.S.
I opened your letter to Burn to get the address

COLL-158 4.01.006, Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL

 

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