Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 233
[Private Frederick George Drewette, No 5068, a printer of Milsons Point, NSW, enlisted on 12 January 1916 at age 23 and embarked from Sydney on SS Makarini on 1 April 1916 with the 2nd Infantry Battalion, 16th Reinforcement. He was transferred to the 54th Battalion and was killed in action in France on 22 November 1917.
Typed letter regarding his death written by Lieutenant A E Askham – probably Lieutenant Albert Charles Askham, 54th Battalion.]
France, 27th November, 1917.
Jas. Drewette Esq.,
I regret that I have to confirm the news, which you have received long ere this, of the death of your son, No. 5068, Pte. F. G. Drewette.
Your son died while gallantly defending a position on which he had been posted. The most vivid account of the action were obtained from a German prisoner, whom we subsequently captured.
He informs me that the post was strongly defended by your son and three comrades against a force of twenty five Germans, and was not taken until all four had been killed or wounded, while the Germans lost one killed and eight wounded, of whom one is not expected to recover.
As soon as it was known that a fight was in progress I led a party out to reinforce the post, but arrived too late. I, however, recovered the body of your son, which was sent back and decently interred according to the rites of his church. Death had come to him instantaneously, as he was wounded in the head.
I beg to convey to you the sympathy of the Officers and men of my battalion. Your son had earned the respect and esteem of all ranks by his soldierly and manly conduct. As his immediate Commander I join you in your sorrow, but at the same time I am proud of the fact that the men of my command have put up such a good fight, and have ended their careers so gallantly.
Yours very sincerely,
(Sgd.) A. E. Askham, Lieut.
Date of action
23rd 22 November, 1917.
Principal Librarian and Secretary