A few years ago, I received a collection of stuff that had belonged to my late mother. Her brother Jack died up the Irriwaddy in 1944. Following is a transcription of THAT letter from a Major, his OC or CO to my uncle's widow, which was among the documents.
South East Asia
8 May /44
Dear Mrs Snaith
This is just a line to express to you my deepest sympathy over the loss of your husband. In the time he was with the battalion, he had shown himself to be a very fine soldier, & also equally able to turn his hand to other things with the same success.
For a long time he had sole charge of the Battalion canteen, in which job he handled large sums of money & dealt very capably with all the thousand & one problems that you meet in such a concern.
After leaving that, at his own request, he came back to company duty with the object of going in for further promotion. At this, at as everything else to which he put his hand, he was a complete success, & had God not claimed him back he would have gone far.
In action he proved hiimself to be a born leader of men & completely unselfish in his efforts to help others although at considerable risk to himself. It was during an attack that he was very badly hit & died shortly afterwards, without, I'm thankful to say, any sign of suffering.
I regret that I have not written before this, but up to now it has not been feasible to write letters.
Again in deepest sympathy