Somewhere in France
Mr & Mrs Johns & Family,
It is with deep regret that I am writing you these few lines. Doubtless before you receive this letter, a cable gram will have reached you announcing the death of your son. on the morning of Sept. 12th.
Now as an intimate chum of Earl's ( for he had many), I take this opportunity of sending you and your family our deepest sympathy in this your hours of bereavement. I'm sure it seems hard, but after all, what Mother or Father could wish their son to die a more honourable death - namely that of so valiantly defending the cause and uplift of the "Freedom of Mankind".
Your son Earl and the rest of us in this far land, have taken it upon our shoulders to defend our friends at home. Then! should we not return, we have faithfully done our part. " After all Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his Friends;" St. John 15-13.
We all mourn the loss of our chum, Earl. He and I have stuck through thick and thin and you can imagine how keenly we feel it. He had many chums and won the admiration of his officers, and NCO's. and I can faithfully say " he played the part of man throughout: He always had a cheery face and a kind word - for these go a long way over here.
In regards to his death he was killed instantly - that of a large shell falling almost beside him. His remains are buried in a small cemetry about a mile from where he met death. All due rites were accorded him and although you may never have the opportunity of visiting his grave, he rests along with many comrades.
His personal belongings shall be sent home and if spared to return I shall explain all clearer when we meet. Hoping this finds you all enjoying the best of health, I will close and as chums, we extend our warmest sympathy to the bereaved family.
Lance Corp. R. H. Hoover,
#654881 A. Co. 58th