November 7, 2015
This is a letter that my great grandmother received regarding her son Idion (the man seated in the previous post). My father was born after this and he carried his uncles name. This is always a time for reflection.
February 1, 1918
Dear Mrs. Armstrong,
I very much regret not being able to write you before this, but for the past two months I have been on my back with a severe wound and only now in a position to write.
I am, or rather was, the commanding officer of the company of which your splendid son was a member. Probably he told you of him having fun with me in the 10th Battalion and then later coming with me to the 3rd.
There never was a better soldier and I was greatly pleased when he decided to stay with me when I transferred. You knew he was my own special runner and right hand man generally and it is only the very best and most reliable who are chosen for that duty.
On the 10th of October our company was supporting the 55th Battalion wo were attacking at Paschendaele. We had only a small narrow trench to protect us from the endless shelling which was a perfect hell. In a short time half the company were casualties.
As soon as we arrived at this position, the first thing your son did was to dig a bunk hole to protect me. He then dug one next to it for himself but would not use it until he had done everything he could for me.
A little later I was called away and a shell hit my bunk hole and exploded. the pieces hitting your son on the side. He was immediately attended to and carried to the dressing station. After being dressed there he was sent on to the next station, for there can be very little done at the advanced station.
He lasted not long, however, it may be some consolation to know that owing to unconsciousness, he did not suffer.
We went over the top together at Vimy Ridge on April the 9th and, when I arrived at our destination, there was your son with a smile on his face as though nothing had happened, although we had gone through an awful time.
If there is any further information I can give you, please let me know.
Major J.A. Mortherwell