Clarence Swilling married Clara Bell Weeks (b. 1893) and died during the war in France. He sent an undated letter to my grandfather, Dick Appleby, which I recently found in some family papers. I thought Swilling researchers might find it interesting.
"Well Dick I wanted to come over and talk to you and Lucy but as you have a house full of company, thought would just write down a few things I would like for you all to remember. First I am leaving for France and guess leaving for the last time. I have always felt like you all were the best friends I ever had. Dick I hope you don't get tangled up in this war. The object of this letter is I don't want you all to forget me. Tell all my friends and all the old gang that is left when this is over not to forget me. I figured if you would keep this letter until 1940 it will remind you until then if I am gone and both or one of you living put a flower on my grave. It don't matter a Sunflower will do. I want this flower put on my grave the last Sunday in August 1940 after then both will be 50 years old & I don't believe you will forget me from then on. Hand this down to your children tell all the old gang to do likewise. I just have that horror of being forgotten. I am leaving a request for my body to be brought back to Hico and buried there. No one knows any thing about this letter but me and my mother. So just put this away until 1940. Hoping you all don't mind to do this."
(The Dick he refers to is Dick Wood Appleby of Iredell, Texas and Lucy is Lucy Beavers Appleby. Clarence died in France and is buried in the Hico, Texas cemetery.)
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