May 1 1916
My dear old boy
Before you get this letter you will have received our sad news by telegram. Dear little Mother grew rapidly worse throughout yesterday, her weak heart could not stand the strain of the bronchitis and she died very peacefully at twenty minutes past nine. We sent wires to May and Mela to come after the doctor’s morning visit, but of course they cannot arrive until today. We hoped they would be able to come and help nurse her for we had not quite given up hope and thought at least that her strength might last a few days. She spent a very quiet, peaceful day, very weak but able to take the nourishment we gave here at short intervals. Once she said to me, “Last Sunday I had that nice ride in the Bath chair”. I was with her from about four o’clock until half-past eight, for the last hour she dozed and seemed hardly able to wake quite fully, yet her mind did not really wander. At half past eight Nurse Beazley came to sit up the night with her and I went down a little while; Ethel was in and out and Betty and she knew them both. About nine the nurse said she would like Dr Leslie to be asked to come out again, and Ethel and Betty went to the Vicarage to ask Mr Allsebrook to go for him, he had said he would. They had just started when I went up again and saw she was dying, she was not conscious then. I brought poor Father up and sent Ada to fetch the girls back. She died just as Father and I were up there again. Poor Father is simply heartbroken. We had put him in your room and I hope he has slept a little. It is now about seven and I must go in soon to see how he is.
Dear old boy, you will grieve perhaps that you were not here, but it was better that you were able to come last week really. She did enjoy having you so much and spoke of it several times in the week, enjoyed it specially I think and your coming up to talk to here in the morning and everything.
The funeral is to be on Thursday. Will you be able to come the night before? Jack dear, I did not realize what perfect beauty can follow death. She was as beautiful as an angel when we went up just after she had passed away, and now looks very lovely and peaceful. There are many things to see about and a few more letters to write; we have sent telegrams to many people including Arthur and George who might possibly get leave to come over for the funeral.
Goodbye dear boy. Much love to you from us all.