Below left is a letter from Major Donald Bennett,
1st Battalion, The Buffs, dated 7th May 1945. It reads:
"Dear Mr Pascall,
It is with the deepest regret that I am writing
to offer you my sincere sympathy in the great loss you have
sustained by the death of your son, Sgt J Pascall. He joined my
company when we reformed shortly before Christmas and then of course
returned home for his well-deserved leave. I think I have known him
now for about three years and during that time I have never once
known him fail to carry out cheerfully and well any duties that were
asked of him. His long association with this Battalion endeared him
to all ranks and his tragic death has been a great blow to us all. I
knew him always as a Sergeant I could trust and respect, and I
realised how lucky I was in having such a fine man in my company. I
have come to realise more and more how cruel this war is in that it
always seems to take away the best.
"I should hate to offend you with harrowing
details but I feel that you might like to know the circumstances of
his death. The company was called upon to do an amphibious operation
on Lake Comacchio but as we were about to land the "Buffaloe" in
which Sgt Pascall was travelling was hit by an anti-tank shell. Only
one man was lost, but as the remainder jumped out into about three
feet of water machine-guns opened up and Sgt Pascall was
"I cannot stress how much he is missed by his
comrades who have always looked upon him as a quiet, courageous chap
who never failed to give of his best in all circumstances. I know
that he was regarded by them with great affection. Your sense of
loss must seem harder to bear in view of the fact that he had been
abroad for more than four years and should soon have returned to
England for good, while at this stage of the war it must be even
more difficult to comprehend.
"He is buried near Longestrino, on the Southern
shores of Lake Comacchio, in company with others of this battalion
who have also fallen. I think you will receive a photograph of his
grave from the War Office in due course. His personal effects will
also be sent on to you.
"Any condolences I may offer must seem small in
view of your great loss, but please believe that my deepest sympathy
goes out to you and to your family.
Above right is a letter from Gilbert Tyson,
Padre, 1st Battalion, The Buffs, dated 12 June 1945. It reads:
"My Dear Mr Pascall,
"Words fail to express adequately our thoughts
and sympathy at a time like this.
"Your dear son has made the supreme sacrifice in
the Cause of Right. He has been faithful unto death, and his Lord
has given him the Crown of Life. May God give you the peace which is
deeper than the sorrow, and may He comfort, guide and help you and
the family in the difficult days ahead. May you be helped to
holdfast the Christian Faith and to trust God.
"We know that death is an incident and not an
end. I laid the remains of your dear son to rest, with some of his
comrades, in the Division Cemetery. Sometime in the future you will
be informed where your son is buried and a photograph of the grave
will be sent to you.
"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee, the Lord
give thee peace.
photos courtesy Dover Museum