Page contains a typescript of a letter, dated 24 March 1917, from Georges Destrubé to Sir Newman Chambers, thanking him for his condolences for the deaths of Guy and Paul Destrubé. Georges also writes about familial love and affection, patriotism, and his father, Ernest Destrubé.
GEORGES TO SIR NEWMAN CHAMBERS.
France, March 24th, 1917.
Dear Sir Newman,
Thanks so much for your very kind letter of
sympathy. - I knew you would be shocked <del>to</del> the awful news of the death of my
poor brothers. Briefly as you knew, Paul, I know you had a genuine affection
for him, as he indeed, had for you.
Do you remember <del>how</del> me telling you how keen I was
that you should know Guy too? - I am sorry you didn't.
I was so proud of Guy and Paul - I mean I am proud
of them, for I can only think of them in the present - not in the past. -
because their memory will always be with me, an actual living thing.
I know you would have liked Guy as you did Paul; it
always seemed to me that no one could help loving my brothers! - And they
were well loved! And I know, better than any man may know, how well they <del>dese</del>
There could have existed no stronger bond of trust
and affection between men than existed between us three, and their memory
will be to me and my people an ever present, glorious, and bright shining
memory, which will influence me and sadden me - yet help me, I hope - all my
I am so glad you have met, and are to meet Father. I
know your sympathy and friendship will help him in his sorrow. We are
rather an unusual family, family affection amongst us is abnormal, and what
Father feels in his cruel bereavement, is simply terrible. - But my Father
is a man of deep passions, and his love of his children is only equalld by
one other love - his love of country - of France, hihs native land, and the
cause of the Allies. He accepts the great sacrifice in a wonderfully
patriotic spirit, and I fear that had Guy and Paul died for a cause less
noble it would have killed him.
Guy and Paul were patriotic, but Father's patriotism
was always a bit beyond us; - I remember we used to speak of it in the trenches
and admit between ourselves that Father's love of country was a thing deeper
than we could ever understand!
- But one faith they did understand, ay, to its fullest
was that of "playing the game"! And I think that of all the things that can
be said of Guy and Paul, the greatest is this - that throughout their lives
and to the very end, they "Played the Game"!
In my own trouble I have been apt to forget your own
sad bereavement - the very cause of your chance acquaintance (sic) of Paul. The
death of poor Hector was deplored throughout the Battalion; he had a fine
courage and the loss that was felt in the Battalion could only be equalled
by that of my poor brothers.
There was a very strong bond of affection and a fine
understanding between Hector and ourselves, - I could only wish that there
might be a place in the Unknown Beyond where our dear fallen ones might meet
Father will no doubt show you Col. Barker's letter
which speaks so highly of my brave brothers, and how terribly the old Battn.
If anything should come of my application for commission,
I shall see you comparatively soon, if not, - then after the war. I am
sure I am very, very grateful for the trouble you have <del>taken</del> again put yourself
to in again calling upon Col. Bovill. I sent him the particulars 2 days
ago. Thanking you again very much for all you have done for me.
I remain, dear Sir,
(signed) GEORGES Destrubé. Yours very sincerely