“Dear H. fulfilled his duty so nobly”

Sister Miriam, CSJB (1835-1922), one of the Sisters of the Community of St John Baptist, wrote to the mother of a former pupil at St Stephen’s National School in Clewer, on hearing of his death in the war.

16 September 1916

I have just heard of your great sorrow and I want you to know how fully I sympathise in your grief, and at the same time share in your happiness in the knowledge that dear H. fulfilled his duty so nobly and gave his life freely for God and his country. I feel sure he trusted in God and said his prayers like a young Colonel, a friend of mine, who wrote just before he was killed in action, “out here it is our only help, we feel always that we are close to God and that He will help us to keep close to Him and not be lonely.”

A lad who had been so regular in serving at God’s Altar would be helped in the hour of peril, I am quite sure, and we must not grudge his having his rest, joy and peace early in his earthly career. Bye and bye … you will be able to feel this; for the moment the one cry in your hearts must be “Oh that I could see him again?” I prayed for you both and for the dear soul, this morning, in a little village church, and the priest who celebrated had lost his eldest son killed in action and has two other sons at the front now, so all these dear boys were together in my heart and given into the loving hands of our dear Lord.

Printed in a memoir of Sister Miriam, CSJB, 1922 (D/EX1675/6/2/4)

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