Private Harry William Keene

The Letters

The following letter was written by an officer in Private Keene's machine gun crew.


Mrs. C. Keene

Dear Madam --

I very much regret having to inform you of the death of your son - 135761 Pte. H. W. Keene.

On the morning of Aug 8th, he together with the remainder of his crew went into action with a tank. The tank was hit at J.5b.49 (sheet 66E N.E.) and your son was killed, death being instantaneous.

Please accept my very deepest sympathy, the more so as I have lost an extremely good gunner, one whom I could always rely on under any situation. His section officer Lieut D. Hamilton was killed the same day, otherwise he would have written you. Please derive what comfort you can from the fact the death of such men as your son only determines those of us who remain to carry on until the Enemy are finally crushed.

Will let you have the map of the location of his grave it its possible and will also forward any of his private effects that I am able to collect, the latter being kind of difficult after such an action as we have just been in.

I remain yours truly

Jos. Hughes Lieut.

4th Row, M.G.C.

The following letter was written to Mrs. Keene by a friend of Harry's.

Dear Mrs. Keene,

I read the report in the Star tonight of the death of your son, Harry, and feel it my duty, as a pal of his, to express to you my heartfelt sympathy and regret in your bereavement. I am an ex-member of the 74th Batt. and was with Harry for twelve months in France with the 11th Machine Gun Co. and found him to be an exceptionally fine fellow, always happy, never grumbling. I assure you the rest of the boys who knew him, here, as well as "over there" will miss him very much. Again I ask you to accept my sincere sympathy.

Sincerely Yours

H.C. Phillips
678 Ross St.,
Peterboro, Ontario.

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