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Date: November 23rd 1917
Joy Smith
J. K. Moffat

23.11.17 Dear Miss Smith Your very kind letter was most welcome and I do appreciate your past esteem and consequent sorrow at the loss of our gallant comrade John C. Oxborough. To properly put together a letter extending sympathy and condolence have ever considered beyond my efforts, and as in most cases, we find it a great boon to hand to our padre the known facts of each casualty, by doing so we feel assured that those who mourn are informed and possibly comforted. Where you so bravely ask for the bare facts of how it happened; you remove the greatest difficulty coupled with a natural desire to do everything possible when it has to do with "little Chauncey." I shall do my best to oblige. Oct. 31st Wed - about 5:30 PM Vapour Farm, P______ Ridge. In an advanced outpost. A 4.5 Howitzer shell landed on the ground about three feet distant. A small particle of shrapnel penetrated the head. The body was otherwise unmarked. Death was instantaneous. At the time we were expecting a counter-attack on that (then newly-won position). About two hours later when the bombardment had quieted down we buried our dead. I found it extremely difficult to remove the identification disk and other personal effects from my splendid pal. Possibly you can understand. The body was in a kneeling attitude with the left arm encircling the head. The moon came out clear from behind the dark cloudbank. Getting down beside him in the hastily erected breastworks in the mud. I turned the body over, the eyes were closed. His dear kind face that ever bore a sunny smile was strangely white and calm. When we lifted him up could not believe it possible that he was gone from us, and lest there should be any possible mistake, we took ten minutes or so to make sure. We had gone through so much together, when we came back to find him still kneeling, it seemed so awe-inspiring and in such perfect keeping with his life and spotless ideals. When no longer he could serve in the body, he could make supplication in spirit. True indeed he was a genuine favourite wherever he went. So clean living, clean minded, and willing to serve others. It is one of our most highly cherished memories that shall ever remain fresh and green. Yours sincerely For his sake - with burning pride J. K. Moffat Shall try to locate the diary. So far have had no success. J. K.