Mrs Henry Johns & family :-
Dear Friends :-
Received your very welcome letter to hand some time ago, and sure was pleased to hear from you. I'm sure it was intensely hard for me to write you under the circumstances, but not so great as yours in answering. However, I think it nothing but a chum's duty to write and tell of his death, as it seems to relieve a Mother's troubles somewhat.
In regards to Earle, I never met or chumed with a better fellow - one who I could trust and play the game square. I found him an ideal "pal" in every sense of the term. And well did I realize it after he was gone, for we were always together.
As for his burial - and referred to in last letter, - Yes he received a descent burial in a soldier's Grave Yard. I visited his grave a month afterwards and much to my delight, it was beautifully fixed up and decorated in various ways.
Although you people may never see the spot where your loved one lies, it will kind of soothe things to know from his best chum as regards to how he met his death - namely doing his duty, and his influence and work among the boys or comrades.
And friends, I might say, since then, I have lost most of my chums and otherwise - some killed other wounded. At present, I am the only Brussels Boy in our Brigade and only five of we old fellows in the platoon left previous to Earl's death. Hence you see many a Mother's noble son has passed away fighting for Freedom.
At present the Batt. is out on rest - and being re-enforced - chiefly men of the 248th Bn, The weather is extrmely cold and wet now, but we can expect such after the summer.
Is'nt the time rapidly passing? Why here it is a year and 3 days since we landed in France and still the war rages on. Was slightly wounded the last trip - namely three pieces of shrapnel in the face but am OK. now. The first scratch in a year's trench life and never missed a trip. Some luck and hope it continues to stay with me. And if God spares me to return, I shall surely call on you and give the news.
Well, I suppose over home, things will be shaping up for Xmas. All stores decorated and the possibility of sleighing and the different sports. Am sending you a small remembrance from France which I hope you receive O.K.
With this I close, hoping you are all enjoying good health, and wishing all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
Corp. R. H. Hoover
P.S. Would be pleased to hear and answer a letter from any one of the family.