Edwin Dyett’s final letter home

100 years ago today, Sub. Lt. Edwin Dyett discovered that he was to be shot at dawn. He was playing cards when the contents of a blue envelope – his Death Warrant – was read to him. He spent an hour with a Padre and found the strength to write this one last letter:

France, January 4, 1917

Dearest Mother Mine,

I hope by now that you will have had the news. Dearest, I am leaving now because He has willed it. My sorrow tonight is for the trouble I have caused you and dad.

Please excuse any mistakes, but if it were not for the kind support of the Rev. W.C. _____ who is with me tonight, I should not be able to write myself. I should like you to write to him, as he has been my friend.

I am leaving all my effects to you, dearest; will you give my little _____ half the sum you have of mine?

Give dear dad my love and wish him luck. I feel for you so much and I am sorry for bringing dishonour upon you all. Give _____ my love. She will, I expect, understand – and give her back the presents, photos, cards, etc., she has sent me, poor girl.

So now my dearest Mother, I must close. May God bless and protect you all and for evermore. Amen

He was shot at 7.30am  5/1/17 at St Firmin. It is reported that his final words were: “For God’s sake shoot straight.”

It is moving story and I have been moved revisiting it today. Many years ago I followed Dyett’s footsteps as closely as possible from desertion to death. For the full story I recommend Leonard Sellers’ book also called “For God’s sake shoot straight.”



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