Letters of character

22:43, Apr 23 2014

It was wonderful to see my great uncle Peter Mackay on the front page on Monday and to see published the letter that James Hargest wrote to Peter's mother about how he died.

Although he died almost 100 years ago at Gallipoli, Peter and his brother Jack (who died in Ypres on December 4 1917) are still well remembered in our family.

We are very lucky to have many letters, diaries and photographs.

Peter's long letters are so full of character, humour and honesty.

My grandfather was named after him and then my brother.

I often think about how my great-grandmother must have felt when she received that letter from James Hargest.


She tried to find out where Peter's body was but it was never found.

He proposed to his girlfriend on the day he left NZ, writing to a friend not long before he died.

''I am longing for the day when it will be all over and I can come back to her. What a day it will be. There's a good time coming . . .''

I'm glad that my great-grandfather didn't go to war and I hope that my son or daughters never have to.