12 Dec 1856
Mrs Richard Bevan
My Dearest Sister
You will doubtless hear from our dear brother, that he has received the last acct for which we have been waiting so long, and so dreading, & to-morrow the death of our precious child will be announced in the papers. The report of the close is very simply & touchingly told & now we realise the death & our hearts are torn asunder, in a few days we shall rest more tranquilly on the blessed hope of his final victory over the last enemy, which had no terrors for him. You will of course see all, some day. At present I have Captn Campbell’s beautiful letter, & the earlier part of the narrative, with the intention of gathering all together in a little book, for our dear Brother’s comfort, & for a precious remembrance to the brother sister [sic], when this deep sorrow must have faded, in some degree. All his letters too, to each one of us, I think of adding, & shall be so much obliged for all you can send me, after he passed, when he opened out so much, to the time he was removed from us. Capt. C says may the Almighty in His great goodness & mercy give you and Mr. D strength to hear the intelligence he has to communicate “your dear boy has been taken from you, & is now in a better and happier world. His end was Peace. This morning 24. off Balaklava, he breathed his last. I was with him at the time, tho’ the change from “Earthly” to “Life Eternal” was so gentle as to be scarcely perceptible. Up to within the last hour he was perfectly conscious & continually uttering prayers, his thoughts evidently fixed on above”. They had to perform an operation in the throat to prevent suffocation from the mucous, which they hoped might save his life. It prolonged it 48 hours, & at first, he rallied so much, that the doctors had great hope, but his strength was too much exhausted. Capt C goes on “The operation was performed with his sanction, & he bore it beautifully, joining in the prayers that the Chaplain & my good self said to him, apparently with much comfort, & the repeating two [sic] passages written on the fly leaf of his bible, by one his aunts who gave it him, seemed to afford him much pleasure”.
We want, & MA especially, to know what the two were, I hope you may remember. Poor M.A up to yesterday, the impression was fading away, & we feared [?], without the benefit we hoped, today she is in the extreme of grief & cannot come up to me. James hopes to come to us to-morrow & has counter ordered the requisition of the sweet child’s remains being brought over. I hardly know what I am about. I have written a full account to Emily. I am copying Raymond’s letters, I want yours.
Captn C says in another part that he and the Chaplin “were most fond & thought most highly of him & for indeed he was no ordinary boy”
[-] & love, yours aff, G. Dewar
MA hopes to have all her things to-morrow and we shall put ours on, we have waited for her, [-] love