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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Apology from English

As I was going through newspaper clippings that belonged to my great-aunt, Mertie (Mayle) Adams, I found this very interesting article published in the McConnelsville, OH, newspaper. Unfortunately there is no date on the article.

English People Sympathize With Normans -- The letter appearing below is a fine expression of sympathy, received by Mrs. and Mrs. Delbert Norman who, not long ago, lost their son, Richard Lee, who was serving aboard the Hobson. In forwarding the letter from Washington, the Secretary of the Navy says: Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Boorman of 19 Brewer Street, Maidstone, Kent, England, wrote to me and asked that I transmit you a copy of their letter. In compliance with their request and with the added desire that you have this sincere expression, I caused the original letter to be reproduced. I am only sorry that everyone could not have the original. Sincerely, Dan A. Kimball. The letter is as follows:

Dear Friends,

On behalf of my wife and myself, may I express my deepest sympathy for you in your tragic loss of your son who was killed whilst serving on the destroyer, "Hobson."

The news of the terrible accident comes to us as a severe shock which was made worse by the fact that so many boys lost their lives. What a pity so many had to go. Things like this are expected in war time. Many accidents happen then but, in these days of so-called peace, a tragedy such as this is unexpected and, therefore, much more of a blow to people like yourselves who lose a dear one.

Ever since the news of the "Hobson" was broadcast I felt that I would like to write to the parents of one of the boys who lost their lives, and explain that we here in England do join you in your sorrow and that we do not hear or read about the tragedy and then forget it. Oh no. In my opinion and in the opinion of most of my country-men, we owe you too much to forget anything.

We think you are a grand lot of people and in my experiences of folk I have met from the States, I know this is true. I haven't the slightest doubt that your son was one of the best as well. I do hope that if he ever did visit our country he liked us as much as we should have liked him.

American service-men are the 'tops'. They are clean, well behaved, jolly and in all a fine set of lads. Of course, there are always the few who are not quite so well behaved but we can make allowances for them. After all, none of us is perfect.

Dear Friends, I do wish I could put on paper the words that are in my heart. You see I can share a little of your grief because I lost a dear brother during the late war. Like your boy, he, too, was killed in an accident whilst serving his country. I know how I felt then and I know you you must feel now.

May God comfort you in the hour of sorrow. Be brave, please. Time is a great healer of broken hearts, you know.

We are, Yours very sincerely, Eric and Pam Boorman (Just two ordinary people)

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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