Text of letter from Captain T Wells, 13th Battalion, to Mrs Allen regarding her two sons, Robert Beattie Allen and Stephen Charles Allen, dated 1 March 1917 (hand-written)

Dear Mrs Allen

As I have been away in England wounded I only received (Miss Allen's) letter yesterday so please excuse my delay in replying.

I am extremely sorry that I am unable to give you much hope as regards your two sons. On the night of August 14th the 13th Battalion in conjunction with other regiments made an attack on that famous German stronghold Mouquet Farm. It was one of the glorious charges in which the Australians have participated as the machine gun fire which they were called upon to face was terrific. Our lads got right across but their losses were very heavy and as the regiments on our flanks failed we had to retire. We brought back a number of Germans prisoners and most of our own wounded. There was a faint possibility that your two sons were taken prisoners consequently they were posted as missing but if you have not yet received intimation that they are in German hands I think you must make up your mind that they fell gallantly while rushing forward in that glorious charge. All those that were left of the 10th reinforcements (there are very few now) were extremely sorry that the two brothers were gone. They were well liked by all ranks and were good soldiers and willing fighters. Although they have given up their lives they did their duty nobly and well. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Yours very sincerely

T Wells, Captain

13th Battn AIF

PS. Your boys, if killed, will have been buried along with a large number of their Australian comrades on the field of battle, near Mouquet Farm, which is about a mile from Pozieres.

 

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