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Title: McIlrath, Emily A to McIlrath, William, 1915
CollectionThe McIlrath Letters: A family history in letters from New Zealand to Ireland (1860-1915) [Bassett, McKee et al.]
SenderMcIlrath, Emily A
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginSpringfield, New Zealand
DestinationKillinchy, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientMcIlrath, William
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count408
Genredecease, weather, war
12th August 1915

My Dear Uncle,
I am very sorry to have to tell you of my dear father's death which
occurred on the 24th July. Father had been failing fast for several
months. The cause of his break-down was a growth in his jaw, caused
through neglecting having a tooth drawn. He went to four of our
cleverest doctors, but none could cure him. One wanted to operate
but the other doctors wouldn't allow it, and my Father
wouldn't consent to it either. However one doctor gave
him some wonderful medicine that eased all pains and
made him sleep well, so we have some consolation in
knowing he never suffered any pain. A few weeks before
the end came, he became much worse and got very weak
as he had no appetite and he hadn't the strength to
swallow anything without choking. However, Mother
and us done all we could for him but all we could do was
useless and he passed away on the 24th July so peacefully,
that really it would have seemed cruel to have wished him
back again, after all he went through.
Father was awfully patient and very hopeful of recovery
till almost the last, and we used to wheel him out in an invalid chair
until the last day. He always kept a beautiful garden and everyone
said it was the best for miles around. A few days before he died I had
him out in the garden, and he was showing me where to plant bulbs.
I posted you a paper a week ago with his obituary notice.
Altho' our father was of a quiet disposition, and didn't go out much among people, great respect was shown to him by the very
large funeral he had. Several people came over 50 miles to it, and we
received nearly 100 telegrams & letters of sympathy.
We are getting a photograph printed of my Father, and if it is a
success I will send you one.
We have had a very dry winter - in fact we haven't had a real good
storm for 12 months. Unless rain soon comes it will be very serious.
Isn't the war dreadful?
So far none of my brothers have gone. I know several young men
who have been killed & wounded.
I must now conclude hoping Auntie, yourself & all are well.
With love to all, believe me your affect niece, Emily McIlrath.