A Final Letter

The following is the letter that was found in the breast pocket of the uniform of one Private John 'Jack' Simon Neville. The handwriting is that of a man who has been under the extreme pressure of constant combat for weeks, and established distance from himself as a defense mechanism. It's spacy and quavery to say the least.

Dear Mum and Dad,
If you are reading this letter, then I have been killed. Unfortunate as this may be, it is an eventuality in war, and as a soldier, I have been operating as if I were already buried for the past few months anyway. So, rest assured, this hardly comes as any shock to me. Obviously, I would have preferred to live on to a ripe old age, perhaps start a family, but instead I and many other young men of Australia and New Zealand, as well as all other corners of the world under the oppressive Pommy thumb, have been thrown into the jaws of a great war instead, for the sole purpose of shoring up the forces of the British empire, already stretched thin around the world. I did not know this when, months ago, I volunteered for service, thinking it would be a great opportunity to see more of the world. But I know now that there was another reason to volunteer. I have died so that Australia may live. So that all of the nations of the ANZAC may prove to the Poms that we are not them. But I am just a common soldier, and know nothing of such things, other than the horrors I have witnessed on the battlefield. That of the futility of the trenches. The terrible power of a grenade. The booming of artillery. The surprised look on a man's face when he's suddenly killed. Worry not, though. I have been delivered from the hell of battle at long last. Perhaps one day the whole of man will realize the utter absurdity of war. Goodbye, and know that I have always and will always love you.

Your son,
John Simon Neville.

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