Mum this is going to be hard for you to read.

'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...' - Home News - UK - The Independent

I was going to apologise in case this had been posted before, but sod it, it needs to be posted often to remind cold war warriors like myself what the consequences are for those families who see their 19 year old sons go to war.

I read his final letter to his family and thanked god that my son (9 not 19) was upstairs in bed pretending to be asleep but actually reading under his quilt.

Even now I have quiet moments when I consider how I would react if he comes to me in 7 short years and says "I want to join the army." How could I deny him something that i loved and still miss just because I might have to read a letter like the one above. I couldn't but I dread the thought even though the unpleasantness in afghanistan should be over by then.

I think about the poor sod who wrote that letter. He paid a final tribute to a family that raised him the best way he knew how. The terrible spelling and grammar make it all the more poignant. This kid was never going to be a brain surgeon and being a soldier was his way of making the best of himself.


Book Reviewer
I hate reading dead men's letters. After reading things like this I always resolve to be a better person, be kinder to people who matter the most and all that, but the truth of it is most of us are too lazy or preoccupied to see what's really important in life or worse, leave things too late or unsaid.
I am lost for words.
Oh hell's teeth.

I've just read the whole article and will admit to being sat at work with tears running down my face and yet incredibly proud at the same time. S'funny, after a while I didn't notice the spelling and grammar.

"Your all such great individuals and I hope somehow this letter will help you get through this shit time!! Just remember do NOT mourn my death as hard as this will seem, celebrate a great life that has had its ups and downs. I love you all more than you would ever no and in your own individual ways helped me get through it all. I wish you all the best with your dreams.
Remember chin up head down. With love Cyrus xxxx"

Well done that man.
An excellent letter. Very moving. Well done, that lad and his family.

Rest in Peace.
The Mrs had told me about it but I never found the link read it.... wowThoughts with Cyrus family
Makes you remember that, when you are moaning about your train being late or your coffee not being served quick enough, that the lads a out there are just that, young lads facing the fear everyday.

Many of us have probably written similar letters when we were young but we were lucky to have gotten them back and tore them up. This brave fellow was not one of the lucky ones. But he had the heart of a lion and died doing what he loved. All the politicos and their like should pin this up on their walls and read it every now and again, just for perspective.
Showed the article to the oc matrimony last night and she showed me a post on a doctors website that I can't repost here. A gp was treating a ww1 veteran in his 90's. Given the opportunity to talk to a man who was a living part of history, he asked him about his part in the war and the elderly gent replied "The guilt never goes away, you know." He asked why the chap felt guilty and got told that while he was in the trenches him and his best mate had been waiting for leave forever. One morning they got told that they had been given four days leave and that there was transport waiting for them a couple of miles behind the lines. This transport would take them to a ferry, that would cross the channel to catch a train that would allow them to get home for one day before they would have to restart the process to return. There was a mad dash to get back behind the lines to catch the transport. As they were rushing back, the Germans started shelling. Desperate to get back they continued to head back staying under cover the best they could until they reached an exposed point. His mate refused to cross a short gap as for a few seconds they would be exposed. He cursed his mate and said "I'm not missing my leave because you're a coward" and ran across the gap. His mate spurred into action by his taunt ran after him just in time to get blasted to bits by an incoming shell.

It occurred to the doctor that this was probably the first time that the old chap had ever told the story and he felt deeply touched and privileged to be trusted with the tale simply because of his job. The veteran died a few days later and the doctor considered the enormity of the burden of guilt that was probably carried for 70 years.

As for the relevance to this thread, I bet that out there somewhere is one of Cyrus' mates who probably feels the same as the old WW1 veteran. Some squaddie who let Cyrus go first or went first himself because Cyrus was dawdling. Cyrus has paid his price and his family will continue go pay theirs, but we shouldn't forget that those who lived when Cyrus died will pay a debt too. I go to my local cenotaph to remember people like Cyrus but when I put my money in the tin for a poppy it's for those who survived.

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