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Letters from the Front Arthur William Hood (July 14, 1916)
William Henry Neitz was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia as was Arthur William Hood. They both served with the 25th Battalion with Canadian Expeditionary Forces. The son of Charles and Emeline Neitz, he enlisted on November 19th, 1914, and was killed on July 5th, 1916, aged 21. William’s brother Charles also served with the 25th Battalion and enlisted the same day as William in Yarmouth, NS. Arthur W. Hood was wounded in 1918 and returned to Halifax at the end of the war. He would die because of his wound in 1927. William Neitz is buried in the Bedford House Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
My Dear Mrs. Neitz, July 14, 1916 It is with the deepest regret I have to write to you regarding the death of your dear son, William. As you most likely know he and I had been the closest friends and I thought it only right that I should tell you all regarding his death. He was out on a Fatigue Party and while directing some of his men was shot though the head by a stray bullet, dying instantly. It may relieve you to know he died a peaceful heroic death while in the performance of his duty. He is buried in a very pretty graveyard with a suitable cross over his grave. I cannot express to you our feelings on hearing of his death and can assure you he is greatly missed by his numerous friends. Although we felt our loss keenly, we realize it is but the will of God and trust you may have courage to bear your grief. The Yarmouth Boys have all asked me to extend to you their deepest sympathy. I think it will please you to hear that Charles is well and will never have to return to the front again. I know you must feel the death of one so dear very, very much but you have one consoling thought ... “he laid down his life in the cause of Right and Justice” and while performing a duty toward God, King and Homeland. Expressing to you and your family my deepest sympathy and trusting this short note may in some degree lessen the sadness caused by your great bereavement, I remain Sincerely yours, Arthur W. Hood
A Monument Speaks (A Thurston; pub. 1989) Remembrance Page - William Henry Neitz Commonwealth War Graves Commission John Hood, Yarmouth, NS (background photo:A British officer writing home from the Western Front during WWI (Nat. Library of Scotland)