Letter to Globe and Mail, Nov. 13, 2018

by Andy Thomson on January 25, 2020

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Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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LOSS, OH SO FINAL

Re 100 Years Later ( Nov. 13): Nancy McLean’s 100-year-old Armistice Day letter prompted me to share similarly poignant correspondence that speaks of a more painful ending for thousands of families during wartime. It was written by my grandmother, Mildred Plaunt, to her mother after confirmation that her son, Donald Plaunt, had been killed as a result of a 1943 bombing mission. It reflects the harsh acceptance of loss that would continue to echo in places they once shared.

This will just be a short note, with not very happy news. We had a wire from Ottawa on Sunday evening saying that Donald had lost his life on the night of March 12, so reports the German Red Cross.

So that’s final. I never did have much hope, if any, that he would have landed safely. The area is too well fortified and Essen is one of their best manufacturing cities. That’s all the news we got, so if he died that night he didn’t suffer long.

Don’t feel too badly. He lived a happy, full life and perhaps accomplished more in his almost 21 years of living than some people do in a lifetime, and if he and other lads before him were not ready to go and die where would we all be? He chose to do this and he did it in his own way.

We could have done lots of things to dissuade him from his training but he would have none of it … he got what he wanted, which was to be a pilot on a Lancaster bomber. He was one of the first Canadians to fly a Lancaster …

WB and I went up to Wye Saturday and home Sunday. Awful lonesome. I would see Donald tearing up the path and shouting “where do we eat …”

Love to all, Mildred

Andy Thomson, Toronto

 

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