Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Mystery Lecture topic and Roman Catholics 74 Squadron


Grid

Recommended Posts

The attached is from the Orderly Book for 74 Squadron, Colney London just before their departure for France in the Spring of 1918 (Archives Royal Air Force Museum London). This is from 9 March 1918 when A.S.W. Dore was still in command. My question is what is the subject of the lecture and why were 'officers and men of the Roman Catholic denomination' told not to attend. Any ideas?

image.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A curious one.

 

There was often a degree of paranoia among the Catholic hierarchy that lectures were occasions for proselytism. (Not sure why catching STDs would be a better alternative to some innocuous lectures on health and hygiene). 

 

Pope Benedict XV went as far as issuing an encyclical in 1917 to warn against charismatic preachers, and of the failings of Catholic bishops etc.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humani_generis_redemptionem

 

I doubt that Catholics in uniform paid much heed to the divergence between the contents of a lecture and the official theological line on some issue but perhaps there was something in the King's Regs about this? Not as big an issue as army rations for certain religious groups but perhaps the RFC took some precautions as to not potentially cause offence to certain minorities? I doubt it. I'd imagine that there might already have been a similar talk given already, e.g. after religious services, and so the Catholics were exempt for hearing a version of it again?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 30/03/2021 at 10:22, Open Bolt said:

At first glance I read 'Purity'... Perhaps a lifetime of Catholic guilt was thought enough for them not to attend.  

Or given Protestant views of RCs in general, perhaps it was viewed as a lost cause already??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went to a Roman Catholic school in the ‘60s we certainly were barred from attending any Protestant talk or church. This in context would seem perfectly normal in WW1. There were RC chaplains however who saw things very differently and ministered to all regardless. Look up Fr Willie Doyle. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/04/2021 at 17:02, keithfazzani said:

I went to a Roman Catholic school in the ‘60s we certainly were barred from attending any Protestant talk or church. This in context would seem perfectly normal in WW1. There were RC chaplains however who saw things very differently and ministered to all regardless. Look up Fr Willie Doyle. 

things were different back then.l don't think Catholics were allowed even to attend  a protestant  church service  like a funeral .

Then again  was the  talk about  contraception? That's  a no-no for  a RC !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was stationed at RAF Netheravon in 1957, the RAF Police Depot, on morning parade just before prayers the order, ''Catholics and Jews fall out!'' was given. We were instructed to march to the edge of the parade ground and face the classroom wall. Following prayers, usually led by a C of E Padre, we were allowed to fall in. I was later informed that it was to prevent us from other denominations being influenced by other faiths. It was the only experience of such procedure I experienced. Incidentally RAF Netheravon was one of the oldest airfields in the RAF and the Officers Mess, Sgts. Mess and the classrooms used by the Police school were full of evidence of it's RFC connection. It is now back with Army.

Tony P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
On 29/03/2021 at 17:09, Grid said:

The attached is from the Orderly Book for 74 Squadron, Colney London just before their departure for France in the Spring of 1918 (Archives Royal Air Force Museum London). This is from 9 March 1918 when A.S.W. Dore was still in command. My question is what is the subject of the lecture and why were 'officers and men of the Roman Catholic denomination' told not to attend. Any ideas?

image.png

Hello Grid.

 

Do you have the entire document?    I'm researching an American pilot who was training with the 74th at Colney and went over with them to France.   Lt Harold Shoemaker.  He served with them gaining a few victories before being transferred to a USAS unit where he died in a ground attack mission near wars end.   I'm planning a trip following his journey from his home in New Jersey close to where I live, to his training centers in the UK, to his final resting place in France.    I've found that as late as 1921 his family believed he died in a POW camp in Germany.  This was an error on the Red Crosses part.  He died and was buried on the field he crashed south of Cambrai . The Red Cross had another Lt Shoemaker who was shot down a few weeks before confused with Harold.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ken,

I do have all the entire document and other details for Shoemaker. Any chance you have his logbook or even better yet letters or a diary?

Best,

Adam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The subject of the lecture was Purity.

The RCs didn't attend because they were 'pure' enough by implication.! Seriously , l would guess the lecturer was a Church of England Chaplin so "Fall out the Roman Catholics" as they used to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/07/2022 at 23:37, Grid said:

Hi Ken,

I do have all the entire document and other details for Shoemaker. Any chance you have his logbook or even better yet letters or a diary?

Best,

Adam

Hi Adam 

Most of what I have is posted on the aerodrome web page under the people section ( see Shoemaker).Lieut Harold Goodman Shoemaker (theaerodrome.com)

I do not have access to his logbook or personal papers.  Mostly newspaper articles mostly containing his letters home.    My old laptop failed.    It's a power issue, not the hard drive so I'm trying to see if I can get that repaired.    I do not have his logbook, but I may have a line on a relative in the area.  I sent him a note, but he never responded.  Many thanks for your help as I found references to Lt Shoemaker and Lt Wicks who he collided with in the document on pages 114  118 and 148 .      I found the purity note as well as an order due to food shortages there was to be no dining out in tea rooms, hotels and cafes.   Oddly it does not mention pubs.    Doing a bit of research through old emails I found one from a member of the 74th squadron association indicating that they departed from Rochford to France vs Goldhanger. 

 

Bob Cossey Secretary 74  Tiger Squadron Association

The squadron’s SE5s were flown to St Omer from Rochford in Essex but were soon on the move to Tetenghem, La Lovie and Clairmarais. The ground crew with all the equipment had sailed from Southampton to Le Havre and they were reunited with the aircrew and aircraft at Tetenghem.

 I will reach out to Mr. Cossey again to see if he has a record of any kind or if he was quoting the original planned route before the diversion to Goldhanger, or if they moved on to Gold hanger for only last stop before going over to France.  This seems unlikely as it's only some 20 miles from Goldhanger.

 

Regards

 

Ken 

Edited by Ken139
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...