By the time friends and family got the news, he’d been dead for more than a month, right?

Soldiers' Mail

Kings Park, N.Y.

Nov. 18, 1918

My dear friend-

I received your letter Saturday evening and I really cannot express in words how shocked and grieved I was to hear of Joe’s death.  It seemed to come so suddenly that I can hardly realize it to be true.  I feel that there must have been a mistake made and that we will hear that he is still alive.  As you say, there is some consolation in knowing that he died a hero and that will help us to bear our sorrows as bravely as he gave his life.

I have always written to Joe regularly and especially since he has been “Over there” and have had a letter, sometimes two or three every week until Sept 14th which was the last I received and in which he enclosed a very pretty little handkerchief.

I sent him a photo of…

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  1. Correct. It is hard to say how quickly such news actually did get back to families at home, but letters and other correspondence usually took a month to travel from overseas. I’m not sure if families were telegrammed the news or not during the Great War, but the fact that Joe’s girlfriend was not aware of it while she was so close to the family indicates that no one else knew, either.


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