In letter number eight, Pte. Sefton Steward of the 77th Battalion has sad news to share with his family at home in Richmond Ontario. The complete letters will be on display until the end of November at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum's exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.
France – February 5, 1917
Am just out of the trenches and have some very sad news to tell you which I suppose you have already heard about. Poor Sid was killed on February 4th while being engaged in a raid on Fritz’s trench. It certainly is hard news to break to you as I know how the people of Richmond and surrounding country will feel over it, especially Miss Dorras who I am going to write to.
The rest of our lads are safe, but there were quite a few casualties throughout the Ottawa Valley. Harry Guy from Stittsville was also killed. There were also two other casualties out of our own battalion. It is almost impossible to send any of their belongings home. Of course, they would be of little use at any rate.
I am sure this will go hard on you people around Richmond. There is so much going on here and we get so used to such things that we can scarcely realize that he (Sid) is gone.
I think we are now done on the front and are going out for divisional rest. It was kind of a dangerous position we held here. They have been making these raids all along the line as you will see in the papers. There is great talk of peace at present as I am sure the papers are full of it. Heard today that the States declared war on Germany, but it is hard to say whether it is certain yet. If so, I think it will bring the war to a close shortly.
Well, Mother, you don’t want to get uneasy when hearing any of these reports as you will always get direct word. Well, poor Sid is out of all troubles now, the only worry will be to his parents and friends. Ervie has been very lucky, together with myself.
With love to all,