Norman Mackinnon, 15 Ranish

Mr Kenneth Mackinnon has received the following letters in connection with his son Norman's death at the front. Pte Edward M Macnamie writes:
"It is with the utmost regret that I have to write you this note extending to you and your family my own and the sympathy of the Platoon in the loss that has befallen you in the death of your son Norman. Norman and I were the best of mates and had been together ever since he came to the Battalion. So you can understand I feel his loss very keenly. Your son was a man to be proud of. He did his duty as a soldier and a man fearlessly and honestly. The only engagement that he missed with the Battalion was when he was on leave, a record that I don't think is surpassed or equalled by any other man in the Battalion. We were in the same Lewis gun section and I can say that in several engagements, Norman acquitted himself very well, doing his own work and helping others. I was with him when he got his death wound. A shell exploded on the trench, killing one man outright and wounding three. Poor Norman died on the way to the dressing station. He never recovered consciousness, having been hit on the head. He, however, suffered no pain, and passed quietly away. All that was possible was done for him, and he got a decent burial well behind the lines. We are going to see that a cross and wreath are put on his grave. If I can answer any questions regarding him or do anything you would like done, I will be only too pleased to do so. I will now conclude, again expressing the sympathy of all who knew Norman. We feel his loss deeply and we feel for you."
W. Macdonald writes:
"It is my painful duty to convey to you the sad news of the death of your gallant and brave son. Please accept my sincere and heartfelt sympathy in your sorrow at the loss of such a devoted son. Poor Norman and I were the only two Lewismen on this Battalion so you can guess we were the very best of friends. Norman was killed on the 3rd of the month by a piece of enemy shell and died on the way to the dressing station without regaining consciousness. Poor old lad he suffered no pain which was one good thing. Not being in the same Coy., I dd not hear of his death until relieved from the trenches. As soon as I heard the sad news, I went to his Coy., and made enquiries. As far as I heard, they buried his remains in a nice little Australian cemetery alongside many another brave soldier. The boys of his Coy are having a collection in place a decent cross and wreath on Norman's grave, for his mates in the Coy thought the world of him as a soldier and a man. His special friend in his gun crew is enclosing you a letter of the boys in the Coy. His death was a great shock to me, he was such a fine fellow and friend particularly to myself. Once again, accept my sincere sympathy in your sorrow at the loss of your son. Trusting God will give you strength to bear this cruel blow".

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