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Death Plaque Scroll


AndyJohnson
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On the scroll accompanying the Death Plaque were the words:

"He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered among those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten."

Any idea who was the author? If I had to hazard a guess it would be Kipling, but for no other reason than his work with the IWGC.

Regards

Andy

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Hi Andy,

the following is taken from the Imperial War Museum (The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque)

'Assisted by its specialist 'artistic' sub-committee, the ninth meeting of the General Committee arrived at a decision on 24 January 1918. Approval for the winning design was subsequently obtained from the Admiralty, War Office and the King. At the same time the design of the memorial scroll and its text were being considered in detail. The minds of the contemporary literary world were ransacked in an effort to obtain a satisfactory elegiac formula. According to the late Miss Rose Coombs, former Librarian at the Imperial War Museum, the solution came via the good offices of Sir Vincent Baddeley, the Admiralty representative on the General Committee, who sought permission to consult the Provost of King's College, Cambridge, Dr Montague Rhodes James. Sir Vincent remembered that he was supplied with a draft wording by return of post' IWM

apparently not Kipling then,

Jon

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Kipling did have a go, it seems, as did Sir Henry Newbolt, Laurence Binyon and others, but as Jon advises, it was Dr. Montague Rhodes James ("Monty"), the Provost of King's, who provided the wording in the end. The last sentence, however, was by Mr. Charles F. Keary and King George asked that the Sovereign be included (King and Country). Attached is a letter to The Times from Vincent Baddeley in 1936 explaining how it came about.

A little about Dr. James:

http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/jamesm.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._R._James

regards,

Martin

post-29417-1232329916.png

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Nice bit of confirmation there Martin, interesting to note that the words were given immense thought by several literary minds.

Jon

ps I've just pinched a copy of that Martin :D

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ps I've just pinched a copy of that Martin :D

No worries, Jon. I.. um.. pinched a copy from.. er.. I forget the name of the newspaper now ;)

I was wondering what prompted Vincent Baddeley to write to The Times in 1936. It was, of course, following the death of Dr. James, which occurred in that year.

regards,

Martin

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Jon/Martin

Many thanks for the responses.

I suppose 13minutes was an acceptable wait for the answer especially as it was after 1am!! Responses in the same league as that from Dr James - those words by return of post!

What a forum.

Regards

Andy

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As an aside, Dr James had an undoubted literary skill. He is probably better remembered today as M R James, the writer of ghost stories, which originated in the stories he told to those students who were still in residence over Christmas.

Ron

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Yes indeed, I've been a great fan ever since being scared silly by a TV dramatisation of Casting The Runes back in my schooldays. (My mum was terrified, too, and we never forgot it!) Fascinating to know that he wrote that inscription, I would never have guessed.

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