Witley, January 21, 1917

Sunday   Church parade as usual AM Milford Church tonight

Brought up in the Church of England, Percy was familiar with its liturgies. The service of Evening Prayer on a Sunday evening was a much-loved form of worship. Its prescribed prayers would have particular resonance in time of war.

Priest: “O Lord, save thy people.”
Response: “And bless thine inheritance.”
Priest: “Give peace in our time, O Lord.”
Response: “Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.”

In the Third Collect (or prayer of the whole congregation) everyone repeats:
“Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Bertie Cox used his Sunday to write letters: “Here we are again; back at Whitley [sic] Camp; it feels like being back home. It’s one awful camp [Larkhill] up there,  nothing but mud, and cold and damp. 1800 Canadians died there from the 1st contingent of 20,000 men.” (1) He was referring to the winter of 1914-1915.

(1) Cox, Bertram Howard. Letter to his sister-in-law Mabel, January 21, 1917. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project

The postcard view of Milford Church of St.John the Evangelist is almost certainly a photograph by Francis Frith from 1921. It shows the War Memorial cross, which bears the names of 45 Milford men who never returned to the parish.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

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