My dear Father
I got your letter of May 3rd today, telling of Mother’s last illness, I had a letter written last Sunday (30th) forenoon by Leslie, on Wednesday, and so gathered pretty well the course of events; but your description of her peaceful passing that Sunday evening is that of a death as happy as any could be; even before I had other news than the telegram I penned a few lines which you may care to read, I enclose them.
My telegrams which should have gone in good time on Tuesday were held up by a mistake between the Censor and the French authorities, I only learnt about it too late on Tuesday, so had to send a fresh one to you on Wednesday morning, and it was then too late to wire Mary. From her letters I gather she did not go to the funeral. Of course she has Baby to look after and not always much help available. I hope the wreath she sent from us arrived nicely. Doubtless in a few days one of the girls will be able to write and tell me of the funeral. I am sure our friends and neighbours will have been full of kind sympathy at this time, and of real sorrow at her death.
Please keep that gift I sent, to apply to anything you please connected with Mother’s memory. I wish I had sent it a little earlier but I expect she knew I was helping to buy the chair.
I am glad to hear Uncle Fred was able to come down, and Aunt Lottie I thought would be certain to come. No doubt you will send me a copy of that photograph: it was a very happy thought to have that memento of her face at rest.
You will be tired with trouble and a sense of reaction. Try to get a little change fairly soon if possible, it will be good for you.
With my love to all.
Your affectionate son
Arthur F Sladden
ENS April 30th 1916
Her fragile body died, not reached the span of life though full of years,
Not as a bolt unkenned came Death nor yet with agony and pain long drawn,
Gently he led her gentle soul to Heaven.
She died e’er Easter-tide was past, one Sunday eve, such as she loved.
Around, kind Nature made display of flower and leaf, bursting anew to life,
So, full of faith shall she arise again.
To God the praise for this good life well spent.