We will remember them

Home » Minister's Musings » We will remember them
remembrance, poppies, wreath

From the Manse....

These past four years we have been remembering and commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the events of the Great War. From it's beginning in 1914, to the places and battles that have been seared on our minds and collective memories: the Somme, Verdun, Passchendaele and Ypres to name but a few.

This month, the eleventh of the year, on the eleventh day we will remember how the guns finally fell silent. Yet even on that last day, between 4.20am, when the last soldiers went 'over the top' and the hostilities ceasing, there were 10,944 casualties and 2,738 deaths on the Western Front. At eleven in the morning, the First World War ended and it was all over.

The war to end all wars had at long last finished.

There are no longer now any living service personnel who served and fought during that war. The last living veteran was Florence Green, who served in the Allied armed forces, and who died on 4th February 2012, aged 110. The last combat veteran was Claude Choules who served in the British Royal Navy (and later the Royal Australian Navy) who died on 5th May 2011, aged 110. The last veteran who served in the trenches was Harry Patch (British Army) who died on 25th July 2009, aged 111

Behind each name that is inscribed on a cenotaph, monument, cross, cairn or plaque there is a person, there is a family and there is a story.

At the beginning of the 1930 film version of Erich Maria Remarque's moving and poignant anti-war novel "All Quiet on the Western Front", it states;
"This story is neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war...."

For those who returned home, those who came back from the trenches and the weariness of war could never be the same again.

So on this one hundredth anniversary as we stand and keep silent for two minutes, as we stand and recall the events of the past, and as we remember those from our own families whose names live on, we will honour them and their sacrifice.

We will remember them.

We will not forget.

With love and God Bless,

Keith

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

2021,new year
WMC: Mon 11 Jan 3:00pm

From the Manse......It was Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) who brought to her husband's attention a little know poem by Minnie Louise Haskins, entitled "God knows". Written in 1908 and privately published in 1912, it was part of a collection entitled "The Desert". As a result, King George VI quoted it in his 1939 Christmas broadcast that first December of the...

HMD-2021-header
WMC: Sun 03 Jan 11:48am

For a number of years our Chapel has been open to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Because of the virus rates our chapel won't be open, but the UK Ceremony for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2021 will be streamed online. This will be the first fully digital commemorative ceremony.The ceremony will feature personal testimonies from survivors of genocide, films, readings and music. We will really...

coronavirus, covid 19, virus, illness
K.U.: Thu 31 Dec 10:30am

With the restrictions of Tier 4 now in place, along with the rapid increase in Covid infections, particularly those linked to the new variant, we have taken the decision to suspend worship at church for the time being.Recognising our duty of care, the need to do all that we can to help keep the wider community of Wantage safe and play our part in trying to minimise the spread of the virus, we...

Upcoming events

Church news

HMD-2021-header
Holocaust Memorial Day
WMC: Sun 03 Jan 11:48am
coronavirus, covid 19, virus, illness
Worship suspended
K.U.: Thu 31 Dec 10:30am
IMG-0358
Blue Christmas
WMC: Wed 16 Dec 4:00pm
WGCP Christmas Poster 2020  final
The Christmas Story
WMC: Sun 13 Dec 10:00am

Minister's musings

2021,new year
The gate of the year
WMC: Mon 11 Jan 3:00pm
Christmas decorations outside
Christmas saved?!
WMC: Sun 29 Nov 7:00am
poppies, poppy, remembrance sunday, remembrance day
Remembering
WMC: Wed 21 Oct 2:00pm
harvest, farming, crops
Harvest
WMC: Tue 22 Sep 7:30am