I left instructions for you to read this when you are fifteen, but only if I did not come home.

That day has come, and although we die alone, I am not frightened as I am with men who I would carry through hell, give my blood for and never leave behind.

I have failed and now have left you behind. Please forgive me.

I introduce myself as your real father though by now you may have another. If so, treat him well, and respect that he has taken you to his heart, I know your mother will have chosen him with care.

I have no comprehension about how 1930 will be and how the world will have changed. It must be better than this one but I am here because I wanted to be, and that you might grow up in peace.

When I left for the Front you were too small to know who I was, but I smelt your damp hair and let you squeeze my fingers. Your pink fist clenched tightly and I know you smiled at me. I rubbed my eyes on your cheek. All men believe they see themselves in their sons, in their eyes and hair.

You must always be kind to men and women. The world is a wonderful place even in the darkest times. Make good friends and be beware of being too quick to join groups. Consider the effect you have on others by words. Explore and learn, love without hesitation and grow strong by nurturing.

Keep friends who will support you as one day you will be alone, maybe you will marry. That is a decision entirely for you, just go where your heart takes you.

I never regret having created you, having held you and then I left. I know that you, my son will remember my name as I remember yours.

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