Patriotism is not enough

The Maidenhead parish magazine included various inspiring stories arising from the war, some well known today like that of Edith Cavell, other less so.

Sons of the Clergy.

All classes of the community have vied with each other in manifesting courageous self-sacrifice in the nation’s hour of need. But without drawing undue distinctions it is generally admitted that the sons of the clergy have been conspicuous in the Roll of Honour throughout the War. Week after week the long list of names appearing in the Church newspapers bear eloquent testimony to this fact. The work of the clergy in ministering to those left behind in a variety of ways has been of the greatest value.

“How Can I Help England – Say?”

Miss Helena L. Powell, the Principal of St. Mary’s College, Lancaster Gate, has written an earnest and helpful leaflet for children, showing how children can help in the War. It is addressed to the elder children in our Day and Sunday Schools, and copies required for distribution to these may be had free of charge from Miss Edith Neville, Banstead Place, Banstead, Surrey.

A Daughter of the Parsonage.

Edith Cavell, Directrice d’Ecole des Infirmières, Brussels, who was shot by order of Court-Martial in Brussels on a charge of aiding the escape over the frontier of British, French and Belgian soldiers, was the daughter of the late Rev. Frederick Cavell, Vicar of Swardeston, Norfolk. She was formerly a nurse in the London Hospital. In 1907 she went to Brussels, and when the Germans entered the city she refused to leave.

The Rev H. S. Gahan, British Chaplain at Brussels, has given a touching account of her last hours.

“She said, ‘I have no fear nor shrinking. I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me.’ She further said, ‘I thank God for this ten weeks’ quiet before the end. Life has always been hurried and full of difficulty. This time of rest has been a great mercy. They have all been very kind to me here. But this I would say, standing as I do in view of God and Eternity, I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’

We partook of Holy Communion together, and she received the Gospel message of consolation with all her heart. At the close of the little service I began to repeat the words ‘Abide with Me,’ and she joined softly in the end. We sat quietly talking until it was time for me to go. She gave me parting messages for relations and friends. She spoke of her soul’s needs at the moment, and she received the assurance of God’s Words as only the Christian can do.”

Saved By His Testament.

Yet another instance of a soldier’s life being saved by a Bible is recorded. Sergeant G. Goodwin, of the Canadian Contingent, was in the trenches when a German sniper’s bullet passed up his left arm and penetrated his Testament, which was in his left breast pocket. The impact knocked him down, but Goodwin’s life was saved. The bullet lodged in the Testament.

India and the war.

The Bishop of Tinnevelly, the Right Rev. E. H. M. Waller, alluding to the new way in which we had come to regard India since the War, and the greater part she was now bound to play in the history of the great Empire to which she belonged, asked, “What sort of a partner are we going to take into the Empire?” The answer to that question must depend on the work of missions in the past and the impression that Christianity had made on that great country.

He called to the remembrance of the audience two striking facts about the diocese to which he was so shortly to go, first that the first Christian to be baptized there was baptized by a sergeant in the garrison who had led this convert to the Faith. The second thing, and one which we did well to remember at this time, was the fact that the first Anglican missionary in Tinnevelly was a Prussian, Schwartz, whose name is well known, and who went there for the S.P.C.K. in 1778.

“One of Our Best.”

A correspondent writing in the Guardian concerning the Rev. C. E. Doudney, C.F., who died of wounds in Flanders, says:

“Again the War has claimed one of our best. Charles Doudney was known from north to south of Adelaide Diocese as a first class preacher, rifle-shot, and horseman. The wild bush was dear to him, and only strong family reasons induced him to settle again in England. His work at St. Luke’s, Bath, has been an inspiration to the diocese, for as an organiser, a leader of men, and a trusted friend of all he was supreme. Few men of this generation have had such an all-round competence or such a loving circle of friends. Shattered his nerves had been by months under shell-fire, but his last message as he went out to bury his friends was, ‘Whatever happens to-night it will be for the best.’”

Maidenhead St Luke parish magazine, December 1915 (D/P181/28A/24)

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