[Editor: This article, regarding a church service held for Armistice Day (later known as Remembrance Day), was published in the “In the Churches” section of The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 13 November 1939.]
“Spirit of 1914 still lives”
Led by the Hawthorn City Band, members of the Old Contemptibles, Household Brigade, South African soldiers, Canadians, British Ex-Service Legion, 1914 Imperial Reservists, and other British Ex-Service Associations marched from the Treasury Gardens to St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday, where an Armistice Day service was held.
The Governor (Sir Winston Dugan) was received by a guard of honour. The march was led by the Chief of the General Staff (Lieut.-General E. K. Squires).
Preaching at the annual Armistice commemoration, the precentor of St. Paul’s Cathedral (the Rev. H. Oliver Hole) said that the spirit of 1914 still lived. There was the same determination to preserve liberty and honesty, which were in the balance. In a world of unspeakable chaos and disaster the responsibilities of the Church were clear — it must make religion a real thing.
“The more we examine the international situation the more we realise that freedom is in the balance,” he said. “It has become necessary for us to muster all our forces to protect what should be our heritage. Deep down at the root of our difficulties there is a spiritual cause. Greed, selfishness, and jealousy are rife. May it please God to overrule the wills of selfish men, and in place of the chaos and disorder they have created, to usher in lasting peace and good will.”
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 13 November 1939, p. 2
Household Brigade = (also known as the Household Division) the military units of a country which are the elite of the armed forces, or are the historically senior units, or which carry out ceremonial and/or protective duties in direct connection with the country’s head of state; in the context of the United Kingdom, the composition of this military force has varied (the original units were the 1st Life Guards, 2nd Life Guards, and Royal Horse Guards); the modern Household Division of the UK comprises seven regiments, being the Household Cavalry (the Life Guards, and the Blues and Royals) and the Foot Guards (the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, and the Welsh Guards); the British monarch is usually the Colonel-in-Chief of the Household Division, whilst each regiment is commanded by a Colonel, who is usually a member of the Royal Family (although the role may be filled by a senior military officer)
See: 1) “Background”, The Household Division
2) “Household Division”, Wikipedia
Old Contemptibles = members of the British Expeditionary Force (commanded by Field Marshal John French) who served on the Western Front in 1914 (during the First World War, 1914-1918) — specifically those who were entitled to the 1914 Star (also known as the Mons Star) with clasp, being military personnel who had “served under fire or who had operated within range of enemy mobile artillery in France or Belgium during the period between 5 August and 22 November 1914”; the name derived from an alleged order issued by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, which referred to “General French’s contemptible little army”
See: 1) “Old Contemptibles, British Expeditionary Force”, Westminster Abbey [includes a photo of the memorial plaque dedicated to the Old Contemptibles, mounted in Westminster Abbey]
2) “Old Contemptibles”, Monument Australia
3) “What was an “Old Contemptible”?”, Roads to the Great War, 12 October 2014 [includes a photo of a 1914 Star with clasp]
4) “The Old Contemptibles Association”, Surrey in the Great War, 17 May 2017
5) “In search of the Chums: The surviving legacy of The Old Contemptibles’ Association”, Our War, 13 September 2018
6) “1914 Star”, Wikipedia
7) “British Expeditionary Force (World War I)”, Wikipedia
precentor = someone who directs or leads a church choir; someone who is in charge of preparing church services, or who helps to facilitate worship (the duties of a precentor can vary between churches)
See: “Precentor”, Wikipedia
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