Letters home from officers on the Western Front - (other ranks were t allowed to write uncensored letters) - have become a genre of English literature, remarkable for their poignancy, especially for those whose senders did t return. Such a one was the author of this collection - originally privately printed for his family and friends. John (kwn as Jack to his family ) Baldwin Hoyle MC was on the western front for one year - between July 1915 and July 1st 1916, when he was killed in the slaughter that marked the first day of the battle of the Somme. Lt. Hoyles was a dutiful son - his parents say he wrote to them almost every day, and his letters and postcards were designed to let them kw of his doings without unduly worrying them. They had much reason to be anxious, for their other son, Geoffrey Hoyle had been killed at Hooge outside Ypres soon after Jack reached the front. Tragically, Jack was to follow him. Acting as Forward Observation Officer - a task he had been anxious t to 'mess up' - for his battalion (the 7th South Lancashire Regiment) he was seen entering a German trench near Ovillers where his comrades had suffered cruel punishment from enemy machine guns. He did t return and his body was never found. These letters must stand as the memorial to a brave man and loving son whose courage, in his bereaved parents' words, 'Never failed him as he followed to the end a road that, until duty pointed, he had never dreamed that he should tread'.