These letters, which must be typical of millions written, have been lovingly copied by the family for circulation to everyone. They are from separate officers, one or both of whom were presumably Bill’s superiors…the one dated October 7th from Harry Hyslop (which you can read below) and the second from Jack MacNab. Considering the numbers of these that officers had to write, and the fact that a major battle was raging, it is remarkable how detailed and careful they both are – both letters cover four pages. It must have been the most unbearable duty, taking up any free time out ot the trenches…
The top letter reads:
Dear Mrs Mackintosh, Your son was killed on the 25th of September when gallantly trying to bring in some wounded men. He had been back with his “Sapping” platoon, but came up to see if he could be of any help, and as all the officers of his company had been killed or wounded, we sent him to try to collect the remnants of the company and reorganise them. this he did, but seeing some wounded men still lying outside the trenches, he himself went out to try to bring them in. I understand he had brought one in and was assisting with another when he fell, killed instantaneously. We buried him alongside the other officers and near the men in the cemetery at Cambrin about 3 miles east of Bethune, and have put up a neat cross over his grave with the following inscription:
2nd Bri. Arg. and Suth. Highlanders.
Killed in action, 25.9.15.
Our Padre, the Rev Langlands, read the service. I and several of the men were present. His personal effects have been sent home to you and his valise with the remainder of his things has also been forwarded through Cose and Co. If I can do anything further to help you will you please let me know. Signed, Harry G. Hyslop.