On the last Sunday of Term we had a special service in St. Andrew’s Church. The vicar (Rev. P. de Labilliere) conducted the service and gave a short sermon.
A number of parents and friends were present, and the church was nearly filled.
The vicar writes; “It was quite the nicest service we have had since I have been here. It was most refreshing to see the church filled with young faces, and to hear them sing.”
We hope this may become a regular fixture once a term.
We are very grateful to all those who have come to address the boys at our services this term, amongst whom were two very distinguished men, Captain Woolley and the Rev Studdert Kennedy.
Captain Harold Woolley VC MC served with the London Regiment in the War. He returned last year to his old Oxford college, Queen’s, to take a Diploma in Theology and hopes to be ordained in due course. The story of the winning of his VC is a stirring one.
Rev. GA Studdert Kennedy MC served as an army chaplain from 1915-18, winning the MC at Messines, when he ran out into no-man’s-land to look after the wounded during an attack on enemy lines.
He built up a tremendous reputation amongst the troops for being in the thick of things and always ready with the cigarettes, earning himself the nickname ‘Woodbine Willie.’
He has compiled a very successful book of his poems about his experiences, titled ‘Rough Rhymes of a Padre.’ All profit will go to the worthy cause of St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers.
This is one of his poems:
You were askin’ ‘ow we sticks it,
Sticks this blarsted rain and mud,
‘Ow it is we keeps on smilin’
When the place runs red wi’ blood.
Since you’re askin’ I can tell ye,
And I thinks I tells ye true,
But it ain’t official, mind ye,
It’s a tip twixt me and you.
For the General thinks it’s tactics,
And the bloomin’ plans ‘e makes.
And the C.O. thinks it’s trainin’,
And the trouble as he takes.
Sergeant-Major says it’s drillin’,
And ‘is straffin’ on parade,
Doctor swears it’s sanitation,
And some patent stinks ‘e’s made.
Padre tells us its religion,
And the Spirit of the Lord;
But I ain’t got much religion,
And I sticks it still, by Gawd.
Quarters kids us it’s the rations,
And the dinners as we gets.
But I knows what keeps us smilin’
It’s the Woodbine Cigarettes.
For the daytime seems more dreary,
And the night-time seems to drag
To eternity of darkness,
When ye ave’nt got a fag.
Then the rain seems some’ow wetter,
And the cold cuts twice as keen,
And ye keeps on seein’ Boches,
What the Sargint ‘asn’t seen.
If ole Fritz ‘as been and got ye,
And ye ‘ave to stick the pain,
If ye ‘aven’t got a fag on,
Why it ‘urts as bad again.
When there ain’t no fags to pull at,
Then there’s terror in the ranks.
That’s the secret – (yes, I’ll ‘ave one)
Just a fag – and many Tanks.