The Great War – Spring Term 1918

I am writing this in the week of the great victory in Palestine, when we have all been filled with thankful rejoicing at the wonderful feat accomplished under the direction and the command of General Allenby. Besides this, great news comes of retreating Bulgarians, and ever since the beginning of August the line of the Allied Armies in the West has been advancing, sometimes with a successful and surprising great push, sometimes by many minor operations, which have paved the way for greater and more impressive successes, and the assistance of the vast and ever increasing American army cannot be too highly estimated. On the first morning of the new term, a special thanksgiving was added to our School Prayers, and special prayers are needed at this time for all those amongst us whose share in the cost of victory is the largest. The men themselves do not seem to count the cost, and certainly their deeds of dauntless courage can never be counted but let us pray that the undying spirit of them may pervade and influence our lives, and the lives of all generations to come. And now let us all brace ourselves to carry on all the work and service possible, so that with God’s help and in His strength, each one of us may be allowed a share in securing the fruits of the sacrifice made for the triumph of righteousness and a righteous freedom. I think many of you may agree with me in feeling how easy it is to be thrilled at moments with a great desire for a share in self-sacrificing patriotism, and how easy also it is to be slack at moments in doing the daily duty as perfectly as possible, how easy it is to get a little tired of some particular form of service, and how easy even it is to grumble at some small, but continued privation ! Perhaps we are ashamed to own this, but do we not sometimes find ourselves longing too intently that life may be easier as of old, instead of forgetting ourselves altogether in the rendering with complete willingness anything we have to contribute towards the good of our dear country? Some who will perhaps read these words have been called upon to give what makes the very happiness of home and of life, and may well feel that indeed there is no danger for them of ever again taking a small view of life, but for any of us who may not have been so touched with the very fire from the altar, of sacrifice. I believe there may be a need “to make good,” and to make better still, the patriotism which we undoubtedly feel in our inmost hearts.