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If there was a quiet period in the day, or alternatively so much shellfire that the chaplain was forced to stay in his trench, he might start writing his letters to the next of kin. They would not be very good letters, written under such conditions, but the chaplain always had to consider the possibility of being killed himself and no letter written at all. Months later the next of kin often wrote back and from these letters the chaplain learned what kind of information they wanted. In response to many requests chaplains always tried to get photographs taken of the graves. Relations asked whether there had been last messages but this hardly ever happened. A man was either killed outright or so seriously wounded that morphia was administered, and death was usually preceded by deep and peaceful sleep.

The infantry chaplain found these letters especially difficult to write when he had not known the man he had buried. All he could do was describe the funeral, give some information about the death, and then endeavour to get more personal information from the man's friends. Often the chaplain would encourage these same friends to write letters of condolence, helping them in the writing, for the ordinary man has little experience in this difficult task.

Letters to the next of kin were a difficult but important part of the chaplain's work, but fortunately they were not the only letters he had to write. He kept in touch with his men in hospital and those who were prisoners of war. Frequently, too, he had to write to authorities in New Zealand about the domestic problems of soldiers. But the happiest letters of all were those that he wrote about the page 62 living, for the sheer love of it, writing to fathers and mothers about men he had seen in Church services or knew well.