JFR Porritt First Father Letter

Porritt JFR First Father Letter 1
Porritt JFR First Father Letter 2
Porritt JFR First Father Letter 3

Dear Mr. Christison,

I thank you sincerely for your expression of sympathy upon the death of my son. It has been a heavy blow but we hope soon to be able to view it with stern pride as “a sacrifice on the altar of liberty.”

My son joined the London Scottish as a private (he would not seek a commission as he thought that only service in the field justified anyone accepting that responsibility) on attaining his 18th birthday last November. He remained in the Scottish, where he was very happy, until April when, after the St. Quentin blunder, the boys in the Scottish below 18½ were divided between Lovat Scouts and the Machine Gun Corps. Roy’s fate cast him in the M.G.C. where he [2] had a wretched time in training at Clipstone. Evidently the officers were of a very poor type and the boys felt that they were not treated as “human beings”. He sailed for France on May 26th. On Aug. 10th his Corps joined the 4th army before Amiens and he fought in his final battle on August 11th. His comrades say that he went over the top as “straight as a die as he did everything”. In the afternoon he was withdrawn to his trench and spent that afternoon reading The Alleynian (he was intensely devoted to Dulwich and in one of his letters from France he said the happiest days of his life were the years he spent at Dulwich). He was in this position when his section came under shell fire in the evening of Sunday Aug. 11th and he was killed instantaneously by a shell (it was a British shell – our barrage was falling short – and no officer was with the boys – though these are facts I do not want [3] mentioned) which killed three privates and a sergeant and wounded four others. We are assured that he suffered no pain that he was bright and cheerful to the end and that his last thoughts may have been of his old School and of his home – since he was reading the College magazine which I had just posted out to him.

I know he would dearly wish to have his name on the Dulwich College Roll of Honour in the School Hall and I hope it may be inscribed there. His grave has not been traced. I doubt if he was buried.

I am, yours very truly

Arthur Porritt