Musings on the worlds of aviation, military and international affairs.
With reviews of books that cover these topics
My dear Sonny,
This is the first and last letter I shall ever write to you. You are now just over a year old and the dearest happy chap I have ever seen and thank God you don’t realise the awful war that is going on now. Years hence you will be shown this letter and your Dad’s photograph by your dear Mother, who has always been the sweetest and dearest wife a man could possibly have. Your dear mother and I have never had a quarrel or a misunderstanding of any sort ever, and it is for you to fill the gap by exerting all your energies to be a great comfort to her who has been so sweet to dad and yourself.
Tomorrow I am going out at a very early hour, long, long before you will be out of bed, on an expedition which, if this letter reaches home, I shall be dead. If things are as they are at present you will be fairly well off. It has always been my desire and wish that my son be an engineer… But, my dear boy, it is for each of us to make his own way in this world and far be it for me to say now ‘be an engineer’… If you want any advice on any subject, don’t forget any subject, always ask your dear mother….I am looking at your sweet little face now and God bless you my dear boy.
Your loving father,
In a postscript to his wife, he added:
“Goodbye darling. God bless you always. I am off on a trip from which I don’t expect to return, but which I hope will shorten the war a bit. I shall probably be blown up by my own bomb, or if not, killed by rifle fire. Well God bless you my darling. I have no regrets. We have never had a quarrel and dear old Sonny will help to fill the gap. Goodbye my Darling pet, God keep you always dear, From Will.”
The prose style reveals that this was written under some strain, but very much from the heart.