With deepest sympathy for you all.
Yours very sincerely,
(Signed) PUREFOY CAUSTON.
I had only seen that Robert Palmer had been wounded; the issue giving the subsequent and very terrible report had escaped me. I am more sorry than I can well express. Though I didn’t know him personally yet it didn’t take long to recognise him as one of the great strengths in the Battalion, it was noticeable from the very first, from the way he handled his Company and went about working for them—on the “Ultonia” it struck me.
Accept my most grateful thanks for your kind words of sympathy. As you say, this war, with all its terrible consequences, “had to be,” and it is some comfort to us to know that our sons, meant for other things than violence, took their part in it serenely and cheerfully, with no misgivings.
I often think of your dear boy and of what he said about the war in that sonnet. But what I most often think of him, as I can of my own son, is “Blessed are the pure in heart.”
(Signed) A.K. COOK.
I had looked forward myself to a great career for him: he had so many qualities to ensure success: a sharp, keen mind, which proved its literary quality also at Oxford, an unfailing earnestness and high purpose and a white character: no one could deny the brilliance and the steadiness of his gifts.
(Signed) M.J. RENDALL.
I have just received the “Wykehamist War Roll” and The Wykehamist and in it find the sad news of your boy. I did not know definite news had been received and was still hoping. May I add my letter of sympathy to the many you will have had from all his friends, for though sympathy does not do much good it does sometimes help a little I believe, and say how very, very much I feel for you and Lady Selborne in your loss. He was my senior prefect my first year at “Cook’s,” and there never was a kinder, fairer and more liked prefect by the small boys all the time I was there, and indeed I think I have never met a better fellow anywhere.
(Signed) F. LUTTMAN-JOHNSON.
I have only just learned from the announcement in to-day’s papers that you have no longer any ground for hoping against hope. I did not mean to write to you, but the sense of the loss and of how England will miss him in the years to come has been so strongly in my mind all day that I thought perhaps you would not mind my trying to put it into words. I did not see very much of him, but I have never forgotten the first impression of him that I got as external examiner at Winchester, when he was in Sixth Book and how I felt he was marked out for big work, and I had always looked forward to getting to know him better. It makes one feel very, very old when those on whom one relied to carry on one’s work and ideas are taken. But it is a happiness—or at least a sort of shining consolation—to think that one will always remember him as radiantly young. I have lost so many pupils who will never grow up and always be just pupils.