This is the second post in our blog series The Cavendish Story written by our Archivist, Louise Clarke. Read the first post, Cataloguing the Cavendish Family Papers, and the second post, Cataloguing the 8th Duke's Personal Papers.
|A young John Cavendish|
|John pictured with his brother, Richard|
October 25th 
My dear Aunt Emma
I can’t tell you with what sorrow I write you this letter to tell you how poor dear John was killed. We were holding rather an awkward position & were being heavily attacked by German infantry. John with his squadron was on our left flank, & when walking forward to his advanced troop, came under the fire of a maxim gun, & was shot dead on the spot. I was speaking to him not 10 minutes before. We had to retire subsequently & leave the body where it lay, but arrangements have been made to have it buried by the farmer & the spot marked; being between our lines it has been impossible to get at it at present. Edward Wyndham is sending you home his uniform, glasses and sword, at the earliest opportunity, the rest of his things are being distributed among his men. There are also some 400 francs in cash. I can[‘]t tell you dear Aunt Emma what a loss he will be to us, he was always so steady and dependable and everyone was devoted to him, but you will always have the satisfaction of knowing, that he died a death, worthy of the name Cavendish. Both our Colonels have been wounded, so I am now in command of the regiment. Goodbye dear Aunt Emma with much love.
From your affect[ionate] nephew
Chatsworth in Wartime exhibition
4 April - 23 December 2014