Friday, November 11, 2011

Letters From Their Eleventh Hour: John L. T. Jones (1895-1917)

Captain John Llewellyn Thomas Jones,
3rd London Regiment
Educated at Llangollen Country School,
A member of a printing firm.
Killed in action, Flanders, August 16, 1917, aged 22.

[To his father and family]      France, 4/4/17 
My Dearest Dad, Ethel and Gwen, 
I have written this letter so that, in the event of anything happening to me, I do not go under without letting all you dear ones at home know how much I owe to your loving care and the little kindnesses that go to make life so pleasant and inviting. 
You know what an undemonstrative nature mine is, but my love for you all is, nevertheless, strong and deep, and though I said nothing about these things before I left England, it was just because--I couldn't--my heart was too full. 
One has to face the prospect of getting knocked out, as many other and probably better fellows than I have been. All I can say is that you do not grieve for me, because, although it may sound exceedingly quixotic, how better can one make one's exit from this world than fighting for the country which has sheltered and nurtured one through all life? 
War is cruel and I detest it, but since it was not possible to keep out of this without loss of prestige and perhaps worse, it behooves us all to carry it on to a successful conclusion. Of course, it entails sacrifices, but that is all in the game. I had hoped to be able to return home and take up what little responsibility lay in my power away from your shoulders, and to care for and look after the girls, but if that is not to be, I want you all to remember that though the break may seem unbearable--there are many other homes which have suffered loses. We should rather, I think, thank God that we have we have been a happy and united little family. I know how hard it is, and, as I write, the thought that I may not see you dear ones again in this world brings a lump to my throat and tears in my eyes. I trust that I shall return, but... 
All I can say to you is that I thank God for giving me the best father in the world and two very dear sisters. I cannot write to all, but send my deepest love to....I don't think that I can write any more, so just good-bye and God bless you all and protect you is my fervent prayer.
            With all my fondest love,
                                         Yours affectionately,

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