Friend and sniping partner to Private Adam McKee Crookshanks, 53905, who perished during The Battle of Fler-Courcelette. Hear his letter to Private Crookshanks’ parents by listening to CBC’s Letters from the Front. It is valuable to listen to the entire show but the letter specific to this soldier is at the 28 minutes and 30 seconds.
Source: CBC Radio Program Ideas about Stratford WW1 Letters.
Text of Letter:
October, France 
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Crookshanks,
I have very sad news to tell you. Your son was killed in action on the 14th of September and all the snipers send their deepest sympathy to you. You son died a soldier of the Cross and a man and he was well loved in the Battalion. Your son and I were snipers together ever since we landed in France and I miss him more than anybody else in the Battalion.
They couldn’t fetch your son’s body out as the gun fire was too heavy so they buried him where he was killed. We took off his ring and some of his personal effects to send you. I hope you receive them safely.
I hope this dreadful war will soon be over. I again send you my deepest sympathy.
Corporal R.N. Siddle
[Letter to Private Adam Crookshanks’ parents in Linwood, Ontario.]
Toronto Star Article, October 12th, 1917:
Killed 30 Germans.
Corp. R. N. Siddle, the crack sniper of the 18th Battalion, had many exciting experiences. He accounted for between 25 and 30 Germans. His marksmanship career was ended at the Battle of the Somme when he was buried by a shell.
Corp. Siddle was married two years ago, in London, to a Toronto girl. His wife returned to Canada about two weeks ago and is now living at 198 1/2 Davenport road.