I don’t know why you left your home and family in 1914 to place yourself in that abyss of war.
I don’t know why you left our shore and placed yourself in that wet, muddy and miserable trench, so far from the comfort that life offered you here.
I don’t know why you endured as you did among the stench of carnage and the fear of it all.
I don’t know why you thrust yourself forward, into those drenched fields of blood and horror, amidst the throng of bodies lying there behind you.
I don’t know why you threw your body onto barbed wire – allowing your comrades to stumble over you, while hearing the screams of men and shells pounding the earth around you.
I don’t know why you felt that hot sting of metal piercing through your body, and your hands reached up towards the light, and your last gasp of air was not heard nor noticed.
I don’t know why you fell on that field of poppies and did not return.
What I do know is that you did all of that for me, and you did it even though you never knew me.
What I do know is that you will never be forgotten.
What I do know is that your sacrifice will serve to remind me that conflict between men should never, ever be resolved in that way again.
To commemorate the end of the First World War, November 11, 1918.
Last week's Letter of the week: "Sunderland Civic Centre should become citizens' park"