Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 260
Late Private Ellis
A Soldier's Peaceful Ending
Mrs. J. Ellis, of Hazeldene, Stannifer, has received a number of touching letters regarding the death of her son, Private A. R. Ellis, who died in hospital at Boulogne, France, on June 7. The letters, while of priceless value to the stricken parents, are of more than ordinary interest to the mothers and fathers of soldier boys generally, inasmuch as they indicate how great is the measure of care and kindness meted out to our suffering sons in hospital.
Following are extracts from a letter written to Mrs. Ellis by Sister Jean Buckham, of the Base Hospital at Boulogne:–
"It is with the deepest sympathy for you that I write telling you that your dear boy passed away at this hospital this afternoon (June 7) at 4.30. He had been with us for the past three weeks and we were all very fond of him. He was a dear boy; he never gave us the slightest trouble, and only an hour or so before he died, when I had given him a little drink and he had only strength to whisper, he said, 'Thank you, Nurse.' I am sure it will be a comfort to you to know he had everything he wished for – everyone, nurses and orderlies, were only too eager to do anything for him. How he loathed champagne or brandy! Only this morning Lady Dudley got him some lovely chicken broth, which he seemed to enjoy and told her 'It wasn't bad.' He had skilled physicians who did all for him that human power was able to do. The chaplain visited him each day. Yesterday I asked him if he had any message for you and he said he had written and told you he was in hospital. To have had such a son I am sure you are brave, and will bear this cross nobly. He will be buried just near us in the little cemetery which is just teeming with little white crosses. An Australian Sister is also buried there. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy."