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Remembered Today:

The Bishop of London's Visit to the Front


fmather
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I have just acquired and read a copy of this little book, written by his chaplain, who was my grandfather's first cousin.

I suppose that it was written early in the war (May 1915) before any disillusionment could set in and had to be passed by the censor but it's remarkable how close it comes to being a piece of recruiting literature.Such a book could not have been written in WW2 let alone today.

Any comments?

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If this is Bishop Winningham Ingram, then he certainly seems to have been a ‘firebrand’ preacher. I have not seen the book to which you refer, however he is mentioned in Stephen H Louden’s ‘Chaplains in Conflict’ as an exmple of “The extent to which patriotism could distort the Christian ethos.”

There is a quote from a sermon where he mentions “a great crusade – we cannot deny it – to kill Germans. To kill them, not for the sake of killing but to save the world: to kill the good as well as the bad; to kill the young men as well as the old; to kill those who have shown kindness to our wounded as well as those etc etc……………………………….

and to kill them lest the civilization of the world should itself be killed…….”

Incidentally, there were examples of this sort of thing on both sides.

Regards

Michael D.R.

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The Bishop of London also visited the British Salonika Force. I don't know the actual dates of his stay, but he was with them in Sofia in October 1918, following the defeat of Bulgaria the previous month.

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Winnington-Inghram was notorious for praising the crew of a merchant vessel that refused to pick up crashed German airmen in the North Sea

The German press printed a picture of his ecclesiastical procession with no caption except the Bible passage from the Parable of the Good Samaritan

"and the Priest passed by on the other side"

I would like to think he is a complex man whose quotations have been taken out of context - I fear this is not the case

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I have just been lent a book. "The Church of England and The First World War" by Alan Wilkinson.

Quotes from Winnington-Ingram:

"this is an Holy War. We are on the side of Christianity against anti-Christ. ....to fight in an Holy War is an honour....Already I have seen a light in men's eyes which I have never seen before."

"the good old British race never did a more Christlike thing than when on August 4th 1914 it went to war."

"Christ died on Good Friday for freedom, honour and chivalry and our boys are dying for the same things. ....You ask for my advice in a sentence as to what the Church should do. I answer MOBILISE THE NATION FOR A HOLY WAR."

Scott Holland appealed in the Guardian for the Bishop to withdraw the term Holy War which had such ugly and sinister associations .... the clergy shd not be asked to become "mad mullahs" preaching a jehad.

The Guardian then printed large no.s of letters supporting the Bishop and only one in support of Scott Holland.

The author writes that

"[Winnington-Ingram] preached constantly the quasi-Islamic belief that soldiers dying nobly in a holy war would immediately enter into an everlasting life"

I could go on with many more quotes but here is George Bernard Shaw's attack:

"They have turned their churches into recruiting stations and their vestries into munition workshops.........."

The author argues (the book is published by SPCK) that the word of God was heard more clearly through the works of writers such as Wilfred Owen.

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  • 1 year later...

GOOD FRIDAY AND EASTER DAY

'Thoughts and Prayers for Soldiers at the Front by the Bishop of London' Easter 1915

O Lord, Who died for me to-day; forgive me all my sins, and forgive too my comrades their sins, and help us even while we fight them, not to hate our enemies.

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Just to confuse the issue, there was also a visit by the Bishop of London to the troops in France in May, 1918. However, this was not the same Bishop and not the same London. This one was Michael Francis Fallon, the (R.C. ) bishop of London (Ontario).

There is room for confusion, especially since this Bishop of London was also a bit of a "fire-eater". He was at the centre of various controversies, not least because of his uncompromising support for the war and the recruiting effort. He also was a player in the French-English thing in Canada at the time.

His visit to the front was widely reported in the newspapers, so one may see references to it here and there.

Sorry to have gone off topic a bit.

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  • 1 year later...
fmather said:
I have just acquired and read a copy of this little book, written by his chaplain, who was my grandfather's first cousin.

I suppose that it was written early in the war (May 1915) before any disillusionment could set in and had to be passed by the censor but it's remarkable how close it comes to being a piece of recruiting literature.Such a book could not have been written in WW2 let alone today.

Any comments?

Would your Grandfather's first cousin, by any chance, have been the Rev G. Vernon Smith?

Please see

 

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Arthur Foley Winnington Ingram - The Right Hon. & Right Reverend Lord Bishop of London DD LLD held a Commission as a Chaplain in the Territorial Force as a Chaplain 1st Class (T.F.) see Harts Army List 1915 p589. He was attached to 5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) His date of seniority was 15 May 1901

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There is an article The Bishop of London's Visit to the Front' in the 1918 book True Stories of the Great War as told by the Rev. G. Vernon Smith the bishop's resident chaplain. It is on pages 43-51. This visit was for Easter 1915 as the guest of Sir John French.

Click the link to access the book pages.

- Simon

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  • 3 years later...
On 28/11/2007 at 07:34, NigelS said:

<!--quoteo(post=208991:date=Jan 18 2005, 11:15 PM:name=fmather)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (fmather @ Jan 18 2005, 11:15 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=208991"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I have just acquired and read a copy of this little book, written by his chaplain, who was my grandfather's first cousin.

I suppose that it was written early in the war (May 1915) before any disillusionment could set in and had to be passed by the censor but it's remarkable how close it comes to being a piece of recruiting literature.Such a book could not have been written in WW2 let alone today.

Any comments?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Would your Grandfather's first cousin, by any chance, have been the Rev G. Vernon Smith?

Please see

 

Yes. That's correct. Sorry to catch up rather late with this post.

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Haven't read the book in question. So forgive me if it's not proper to just into a thread w/o the background. But the quotes from the Bishop made me consider the section in Robert Graves Goodbye to All That where he compares the Catholic Priests to the COE sort. He espoused a preference for the work ethic of the, foreign to him, Catholics. The regular clergy of whatever denomination, like the regular troops, slog thru to oblivion and eternity without leaving much, if any, record and the firebrands with hard viewpoints remain.

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I have a booklet entitled 'A call to arms' which is an address by the Bishop to 5000 London Territorials on 31 August 14. The last sentence 'Train yourselves, get ready, and, when the moment comes, in the name of God strike home'. The footnote says that six more battalions volunteered for foreign service as a result of this appeal - from the back of a wagon at Bulswater camp. Kept as a souvenir by one of the 5th London men present; along et al with a photo of the Bishop delivering his speech. Chris

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Winnington-Inghram was notorious for praising the crew of a merchant vessel that refused to pick up crashed German airmen in the North Sea

The German press printed a picture of his ecclesiastical procession with no caption except the Bible passage from the Parable of the Good Samaritan

"and the Priest passed by on the other side"

I would like to think he is a complex man whose quotations have been taken out of context - I fear this is not the case

No, indeed. Bishop Arthur Winnington-Ingram appeared to relish his notoriety as probably the most chauvinist and bloodthirsty "patriot" of them all. I first came across him via a recruiting speech quoted, approvingly, in one of the many gift books published for young people during the war.

However, thankfully, he was not illustrative of the entire range of Angican chaplains during the period. Dick Sheppard, who went on later to found the Peace Pledge Union, and Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy ("Woodbine Willie") were clergy of a very different stamp.

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I have a booklet entitled 'A call to arms' which is an address by the Bishop to 5000 London Territorials on 31 August 14. The last sentence 'Train yourselves, get ready, and, when the moment comes, in the name of God strike home'. The footnote says that six more battalions volunteered for foreign service as a result of this appeal - from the back of a wagon at Bulswater camp. Kept as a souvenir by one of the 5th London men present; along et al with a photo of the Bishop delivering his speech. Chris

Interesting, there is a reference to this here The Rangers' Historical records from1859 to the conclusion of the Great War, ed by Captain A.V.Wheeler-Holohan and Captain G.M.G Wyatt London, undated but 1921 p 18. Apparently appeals by Battalion officers had failed to achieve the desired result so divisional, brigade officers and the Bish were wheeled out. 100 men of the Rangers did not volunteer and were sent back to depot to form the nucleus of 2nd/12th County of London Regiment The Rangers which following a surge in volunteers was up to strength in a week.

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