A diary entry home from the Somme

A diary entry addressed to his wife, and can be found in a book entitled “To Fight Alongside Friends — The First World War Diaries of Charlie May”

English Captain Charlie May wrote in his diary on June 17, 1916

“. . . I must not allow myself to dwell on the personal — there is no room for it here. Also it is demoralising. But I do not want to die. Not that I mind it for myself. If it be that I am to go, I am ready. But the thought that I may never see you or our darling baby again turns my bowels to water. I cannot think of it with even the semblance of equanimity.

My one consolation is the happiness that has been ours. Also my conscience is clear that I have always tried to make life a joy for you. I know at least that if I go you will not want. That is something. But it is the thought that we may be cut off from each other which is so terrible and that our Babe may grow up without my knowing her and without her knowing me. It is difficult to face. And I know your life without me would be a dull blank. Yet you must never let it become wholly so. For to you will be left the greatest charge in all the world; the upbringing of our baby. God bless that child, she is the hope of life to me. My darling, au revoir. It may well be that you will only have to read these lines as ones of passing interest. On the other hand, they may well be my last message to you. If they are, know through all your life that I loved you and baby with all my heart and soul, that you two sweet things were just all the world to me.

I pray God I may do my duty, for I know, whatever that may entail, you would not have it otherwise.”

Capt. Charlie may was killed on the morning of July 1, 1916, leading his men into action on the first day of the Battle Of The Somme