Sheffield Pupil Teacher Centre
In Memory Of The Years 1814 - 1918


 

In Memoriam 1914-18

It was a day one might have chosen;  a day of hope and tears, for now the rain fell silently as the sweet drops might fall from the dimmed eyes of broken-hearted mothers, and now the sun broke through the clouds seeming to smile as they smile when the angels whisper to them of the reward of duty nobly done and that glad meeting yet to be.

I saw the people come in from the busy town to the quiet sanctity of God's House - the fathers proud and sad, the gentle mothers and sisters, the sorrowing friends.  Some were there who had fought upon the battle field, had seen their "pals" shot down at their side, who had come home maimed, heartsick, broken yet unconquered.  There were some in whose eyes the mysterious shades of futurity yet mingled with the smiles of those angel eyes into which they were wont to gaze such a little while ago, some with eyes dimmed by age as well as tears.  And there were those from Centre who had known them all, whose hearts sorrowed not for one, but for many.

The service was very simple and grand, expressing an emotion truly felt.  I was carried away by the singing and as the "Last Post" rang out clear upon the stillness, its echoes sped along the avenues of the soul, bearing as it were our prayers to God.  Then it seemed that life's alarms were ended, leaving for the fallen Peace.

Then, too, the dead seemed to speak their last command to us in our great inspiring "Carry on."  But those who spoke their message when that bugle sounded are not dead.  Behind each one of us a spirit stands with a friendly had upon our shoulder urging us, helping us on.

"We are at one with the men that died."  They have left us a work to do, their work not ours.  Let us remember, each one of us, as we stand before our classes to-day, to-morrow and throughout the years, that our work is not ours along to make or mar.  It is a sacred duty entrusted to us by those who died for us.  Our "boys" ask of us no monument of stone standing soulless as an idol stands.  When we erect our tablets to their memory, let us sanctify them by devoting our whole heart and soul to duty, to our work and theirs.  Let those tablets be an alter upon which we offer ourselves to God.

F.W.
 

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