World War II Letters from the Trenches are Unveiled in “Yours Till the End”

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A treasure trove of letters from soldier to wife brings the front lines home.

Decades after the struggles and sacrifices of World War II, new perspectives are still being revealed, and the latest comes in the form of perhaps the most personal perspective of all: letters from a soldier to his wife. “Yours Till the End”, soon to be released by Bush Publishing, is a compilation of letters from Burlie Forehand, an infantryman and foot soldier in the 42nd Rainbow Infantry Division, to his wife Hazel. Hidden away for more than 60 years, the letters were discovered by the couple’s children after Hazel’s passing. Found under gloves and scarves in the bottom dresser drawer in their mother’s bedroom was a yellow silk pouch. One side was imprinted with an American flag with only 48 stars. On the other side, a large red rose and the word “Wife”.

Compiled by daughter Shirley Forehand Kinsey, the 69 letters detail the experiences of a man who had to leave for battle in the thick of World War II with a wife 6 months pregnant and two daughters at home. Burlie, who ultimately survived the war, was as surprised as his children by the discovery of the letters after Hazel’s death. Shirley writes that, “As he stood there looking at the silk pouch and the letters in our hands, tears filled his blue eyes and rolled down his cheeks, ‘I didn’t know she had kept those,’ he said…Behind his words of wonder we sensed a deep satisfaction, knowing that the letters had meant so much to Mama that she had tenderly tucked them away, never telling anyone about them.”

The 42nd Infantry Division, which in its storied history has included leaders such as Harry J. Collins and Douglas MacArthur, took Burlie Forehand deep into the labyrinth that was World War II and right into the heart of Nazi Germany, and daughter Shirley includes painstaking research in the book to frame the history of events around her father’s personal perspective, from battles on the front lines to the liberation of Dachau.

For more information about the upcoming release of “Yours Till the End”, visit

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Margo Bush
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