Henrietta Graham Bodkin's letter to her cousin Maggie, 9 December 1917 tells the bad news about the death of 3255 Private James Lowry BODKIN at Beersheba.
3255 Private James Lowry BODKIN, a 32 year old Farmer from Merilup, Western Australia. He enlisted in the AIF on 4 September 1916 and was allotted to the 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF, 26th Reinforcement, Morea Group, Perth, and embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia on board RMS Morea on 26 February 1917; and subsequently Died of Wounds, 1 November 1917.
Am sending photos of Fred's two kiddies they are Mother's only grandchildren.
15 Kingston Avenue
Dec 9th 1917
Dear cousin Maggie
I am sorry to have to write + tell you that our darling brother Jim has given his life for the British Empire, the only news we have is official. Died of wounds somewhere in Palestine. It has almost killed my Mother as she is so old + these things are very hard to bear every mail brings letters from him, as the mails are so irregular the last one we had from him was dated the 9th Sept + he died on the Nov 1st (All Saints Day) so there will be a lot of letters to come yet, he wrote to us every Sunday, he was the best loved of the family such a good clean life he led that we have no regrets + no doubt of where he is now. He was the only one of Loury families in Australia to join the colour my brother Fred has two children + lives 200 miles from here. He came down as soon as we got the news as it helped my Mother to have him here + the two kiddies make such a difference or other. Jim I don't know if ever I told you of him he was my Father's nephew + his Mother died when he was 8 years old + we took him + he was just like a brother + very dear to us + he + my brother Jim were awfully alike to look at + often mistaken for each other they went into camp together + were together in Palestine. So far he is alright + no doubt he will write + let us know all about Jim's last days. This is a cruel war + at present looks black for our Empire. We hope + pray the day of reckoning for those Huns is not far distant + the return of our Australian boys to their homeland may be soon as we love all our soldiers. They are so brave + my brother was a soldier + not afraid to die.
I can't write anymore.
Your heartbroken cousin