Canon Andrew White

Please, will my few blog followers go to this update.  And pray.

Remembrance… & Uncle Jim (see below poem)

Batemans    myjpREh

A little further into Kent from where we now live, is Batemans, once the home of Rudyard Kipling, now owned by the National Trust.  Before he moved there, he wrote this poem, in fact for the diamond jublilee of queen Victoria.  It is evidently sung as a hymn on Anzac day in Australia, to the tune ‘Eternal Father, strong to save.’  Sadly, despite Kiplings warning against jingoism in the poem, he later allowed himself to be caught up in the frenzy of the Great War.  His poem, and the film “My boy Jack” tell the story…

(from Wikipedia)  The prayer entreats God to spare “us” (England) from these fates “lest we forget” the sacrifice of Christ.  The poem went against the celebratory mood of the time, providing instead a reminder of the transient nature of British imperial power. In the poem Kipling argues that boasting and jingoism, faults of which he was often accused, were inappropriate and vain in light of the permanence of God.

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line—
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Now for my Uncle James or JIm.  Cousin Andrew Skinner has produced this website about his dad’s war.  The link is:

Jim was a younger brother of my father.  Uncle Jim was the first relative I met after coming to the U.K. for the first time, disembarking at Liverpool, from India in October 1945 – I was seven months old.  Uncle Jim had only recently returned to England, after release from prison camp.

A link to my father’s autobiography will hopefully soon follow.