Letter of condolence for Stephen Kettle

Letter of condolence held with NCC record

1st Lincs Regiment BEF

Dear Mrs Kettle

I feel that I must write a few lines to express my very deep sympathy for you in the loss of your son, Colour Sergeant Major Kettle.

I was commanding A Company on October 4th when the Battalion took part in a big attack on the German trenches and your son’s conduct was magnificent as it always was in action.  He came right through with the Company until we captured our final objective, nearly a mile behind the German front line.  He would certainly have received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallantry if he had lived.

He was killed by a shell that evening and I think there is no doubt that death was instantaneous and quite painless.

He is a very great loss both to the Company and the Battalion for he was very popular and a very good soldier, in fact there are few men who could leave such a very difficult gap to fill.

I’m afraid it is almost impossible to say anything to help you in your great loss, but I cannot help feeling that it is some satisfaction that he died in the course of a most successful attack; part of the terrible price that must be paid for every great victory.

With all sympathy, I am,

Yours very sincerely

D F Neilson, Captain
(Captain Neilson KIA 15 April 1918.  Tyne Cot Memorial)