A supreme death and an imperishable name

The Earley parish magazine reports on the parishioners who had answered the call of their country – and one tragic death.

We regret to learn from a letter dated Oct 5th that Mr F C Goodson who recently joined the 19th Labour Company ASC has met with a serious accident. It appears from his own written account that he was engaged with some Frenchmen and others from his own company in unloading bar iron by means of a steam crane. An unexpected movement of the crane found the men unprepared, and the swing of the bars of metal caught Mr Goodson on the arm and threw him violently against the ship, thereby severly injuring his head. We need hardly say how sorry we are to have this news, and express very real sympathy with him in his suffering.

We were glad to see Mr Thomas Fullbrook home on a few days leave. Lance-Corporal in the Marines, he is one of many who keep watch on the seas in the Grand Fleet. Mr Fullbrook has earned his gun-laying badge, a distinction which may be appreciated by those who reflect what it means to secure eight hits out of ten shots at a floating target of about 900 feet long by 300 feet high at a distance of 18 miles! Mr Fullbrook has been in the Service for some years.

Another of our servers, Mr George Turnbull, has joined the Army Ordnance Corps. Mr Turnbull’s duties at the Guardians’ Office were of so pressing a kind that it was difficult for him to be released. He was formerly an officer in our old CLB [Church Lads Brigade] corps.

Mr Arthur Leslie Edwards – the last remaining tenor in our choir – has joined His Majesty’s Navy, following the example of his two brothers. We shall miss his help, but he is right to go, and carries with him all the good wishes of St Bartholomew’s.

We regret to learn that three soldiers on our special list have been wounded in recent engagements, Sergt. Charles James Bird, Corpl. Samuel Iles, and Pte. Joshua Digweed. Trooper Herbert Long is progressing well at home and is able to report to his regiment.

In Memoriam

It is not easy to put into words the thoughts that come into mind when we have to record the death of Clifford Salman.

Of the many friends who knew him as a child, who watched his ripening manhood, and understood the success which waited upon his studies at Purley rectory, at Mirfield and Leeds University, who witnessed his prepared effort for what he hoped and believed would be his life’s consecration, the work of the ministry, – of these, is there one who has not felt the stimulus of an example which, so far as we could see, never swerved from the best things? In the midst of his work at Leeds University, his country’s call to her children in her hour of need came to him as one which left him no choice but of obedience. The scruples of those in authority at his college did not outweigh what seemed to him the unmistakable call of duty. To follow her lead, he put aside his books and immediate prospects, and spent long, and at times, weary months in learning the work of a soldier, being well qualified by previous experience in the OTC to accept a commission in the 8th battalion of his county regiment. His one wish was to offer himself unreservedly and to have no regrets. What Clifford Salman thought was right was right, certainly for him. Those bright eyes which nature had endowed him with had a truer and clearer vision than eyes less spiritual. When his turn came to go to the front, he knew where he was going. He was one of those called to take the place of the ten officers killed and six wounded out of a total of 20 at Loos near La Bassee; he was to go at once into the thick of the fighting where valiant men were. In the full knowledge of what it meant he was glad to go, and did not expect to return. Three days only were spent in the trenches; and in view of the imminent battle on the fourth day, and his probable share in it, he wrote to those at home asking to be remembered at the altar. At the supreme hour he led his men and passed on before them. One who was behind him brought back the tidings that he had died a very brave death; and who can doubt it? Not for him we grieve, but for ourselves, for those who cheerfully gave him, those who know them in the town and parish have long held in honour. Their gift was not given in vain. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,” and the harvest is by and by. To his generation in his own parish, and we believe to his fellow students at Mirfield and Leeds, Clifford Salman has left an imperishable name.

Earley parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P192/28A/13

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