Two Great Losses to the School – Christmas 1916

I think I cannot do better to express what I feel about Miss Bagnall and Miss Jeffreys leaving the Godolphin School, than quote the following extract from my report to the Governors at the Annual Meeting:­ “After 21 years of work here, and splendid work for the School, Miss Grace Bagnall has felt that her own home needs her, and it is not for the first time I say that when a clear call from that quarter comes to any of us it probably has a right to make itself heard and obeyed. We have had her all these years, and now we must not grudge her going to her own home. But the loss is very great, whether I think of her as she has been these last three years, Second Mistress in the School, and thinking and caring about the whole work, and taking my place so ably and faithfully; or whether I think: of her as the friend and helper of all the other members of the Staff; or as a very important part of the life of St. Margaret’s or as the Form Mistress of the Upper and Lower VI.; or as teacher of History to so man),; or as one who makes each girl here, little or big, feel her responsibility with regard to punctuality and order; or, finally, as playing the Double Bass in the Orchestra. But of one thing we may be sure, that no particle of good work and purpose is ever wasted, or ever dies, and so we are not going to feel that Miss Bagnall’s good work is going to stop. That would be a very poor way of showing our gratitude to her. No, her leaving us is a call to us to try and carry on every good thing here that she has cared about. And now the School is longing to show their feelings for her in the usual way, and I know the Governors of the School will be the first to lead in a demonstration of the usual character. (Applause.)

“I have not finished yet with the sad part of my report, for we have lost another dear friend and most able helper this term. After many years here of devoted work, Miss Jeffreys has been obliged to give up her post owing to ill health. Her beautiful French has been a great asset to the School, and her interest in each girl in her Form was very great. We trust the rest she is going to have will make her quite well again, and that she will once more be able to do the teaching of French and of English which she does so well. We hope she will come back to see us next term, as she was too poorly to come and wish the School goodbye. I know that she will like to hear that we have thought of her much to-day, and send her our affectionate good wishes and great gratitude for all she has done for us.” (Applause.)

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Address Given on Empire Day – Summer 1916

By H. M. BAGNALL
Let me remind you first why this day, May 24th, was chosen for the Festival of the Empire. It was Queen Victoria’s birthday, and when she died it was chosen that she might be commemorated always with the Empire which grew to such greatness in her long and wonderful reign. The Colonies had long kept it with enthusiasm as Victoria Day; slowly we have risen to the appeal to join them in making it a yearly Commemoration of the Empire. This year, 1916, for the first time, even the Government is keeping it, and the flag is to fly on all Government buildings.
Salisbury has kept it several times, before the war broke out, but last year it was not kept, on account of the war. Why, then, keep it this year? Just because we have a clearer sense of the tremendous emergency, and we know we must rally every ounce of will and faith and hope to carry through what we have undertaken. Our great Poet of the Empire, Rudyard Kipling, sends us a message this morning.
“When Germany challenged us nearly two years ago to uphold with our lives the ideals by which we professed to live, we accepted the challenge, not out of madness, nor for glory or for gain, but to make good those professions. Since then the Allies and our Empire have fought that they may be free, and all earth may be free, from the intolerable domination of German ideals.
“We did not foresee the size of the task when it opened. We do not flinch from it now the long months have Schooled us to full knowledge, and have tempered us nationally and individually to meet it. The nations within the Empire have created, maintained, and reinforced from their best the great armies they devote without question to this issue. They have emerged, one by one, as Powers clothed with power through discipline and sacrifice, strong for good by their bitter knowledge of the evil they are meeting, and wise in the purchasable wisdom of actual achievement.
“Knowing as nations what it is we fight for, realising as men and women the resolve that has been added to us by what each has endured, we go forward now under the proud banner of our grief’s and losses to greater effort, greater endurance, and, if need be, heavier sacrifice, equal sponsors for the deliverance of mankind.”
There it is. The whole British Empire knows to-day that it is in for a struggle of life or death; that we must stand shoulder to shoulder, all the world round-our men in the front line, we women and girls supporting them by every means at any cost.
And our rallying flag is The Flag that is flying all round the world to-day: the Flag that
“Has braved a thousand years
The battle and the breeze”
The flag of LIBERTY – shown BY the blue of the sea and the air, the freest things we know: and the flag of LAW – the law of self-restraint for the sake of the liberty of others: for the red and white Crosses lie over the blue.
It is so delightful that our School motto means just those two things’ for which our Empire stands – “Franc,” that is free, “Leal”, that is Loyal, law-abiding.
How glad we feel when we see our flag flying to-day, that it does not display an Eagle, Mighty and relentless, keen and terrible. a bird of prey!
And how inexpressibly sad it would be to have a motto like that of the poor misguided men who have caused such bloodshed in Ireland! “Sinn Fein” – “ourselves alone,” what a hopeless and ill-omened war-cry!
But our Flag displays the Cross, and the Cross is “I” crossed out, myself ignored. It is life poured out, first by the Great Captain of our Salvation, then by all who have followed in His train – St. George of England, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, St. David, and all the noble host of heroes and heroines who have given their lives, down to those whom we ourselves have known and loved.
This is what our Empire has to stand for as a province in the Kingdom of Christ – sacrifice for the cause of brotherhood and union. The arms of the crosses of our flag stretch to all points of the compass, and they all meet in one centre. Our Empire stands to bring “more life and fuller” for all peoples, and our flag is a perpetual reminder that that can only come through sacrifice.
In the stirring words at the end of a leading article in to-day’s Daily Telegraphy, “let us not forget that there come great crises in the lives of individuals and of States in which it is rood to be alive. The sacrifice may be heavy, but the privilege is greater still – the privilege of showing ourselves men, the sacred trust which is put into our hands of saving not only ourselves, but humanity at large. Empire Day is a time for high resolves, for unflinching courage, for obstinate endurance, for all those virtues which, giving us a foremost place in the records of civilisation, fortify our stability and safeguard our future.”
That, then, is the call of Empire Day. In the Market-place down below you will stannd with some 2000 other boys and girls – most of them so much poorer than you in the things that make life easy and jolly, and, as we say, “worth having” to you, and yet they too are giving for the great cause their fathers and brothers. Lots of them are saving their pennies by going without sweets, or giving up a visit to the Pictures, which is the gretest pleasure they have. There is no question of “classes” in this war
“Groom fights like noble, squire like knight,
As fearlessly and well,”
and we stand or fall together, we here at home, our men at the front, and our fellow Britons over seas too.
The flag we shall salute in the Market-place was sent to the children of Salisbury by the children of an Australian Salisbury, and a flag which Godolphin helped to send has been flying to-day at a school in New Zealand. We are one to-day in sacrifice under the flag of Liberty and Right; and as we salute it let us renew our vows to be worthy of it – remembering those other great words of Kipling:
“No easy hopes or lies
Shall bring us to our goal,
But iron sacrifice
Of body, will, and soul,
There is but one task for all,
For each one life to give.
Who stands if Freedom fall?
Who dies if England live?”

Messengers – Summer 1916

As many of the Old Girls will no doubt be working for the National Mission we feel sure the following very beautiful poem by the Rev. F. L. Perkins (Miss Bagnall’s brother-in-law) will be much appreciated:­

“Every one of us is already enrolled in the great comradeship of service-the Church of Christ.”
“Whom shall I send?” – Thy wondrous word of old
Smote on the prophet’s ear, and bade him see,
Mightier than sin, Thy mercies manifold
Till his purged lips cried ‘Here am I, send me,’

“Whom shall I send?” – Above the mercy seat
Where seraph wings veil heaven’s high Mystery,
Heart to eternal Heart made answer meet,
“Send now Thy son to do Thy Will, send Me.’

Whom didst Thou send? – Beside Genesaret’s shore,
O’er all the windy ways of Galilee
Swiftly from bench and bank, from field and oar,
Men gathered to His summons “Follow Me.”

Whom wilt Thou send? – The merciful, the meek,
The pure, the penitent from sin set free,
Those who, much finding, fail not more to seek,
Crying in wonder, “If Thou canst send me.”

For few may follow down the darkling road
By Kedron’s torrent to Gethsemane,
And who of us can share the bitter load
Our Lord has borne to cross-crowned Calvary?

As Thou didst claim the persecutor Saul,
The herald of the Crucified to be;
Or as gay-hearted Francis Thou didst call
With love to woo war-stricken Italy.

So for our England in her utmost hour,
Though we be feeble, faltering, wayward, weak,
Give us thy wisdom and Thy word of power
Hard hearts to soften, wandering souls to seek.

Teach us through penitence and eager prayer
To find, O living Lord, our all in Thee,
Yea, greatly failing, bid us not despair,
Thou sendest not in vain, do Thou send me.

 

Empire Day – May 1915

Miss Bagnall gave a short address, showing how the coincidence of Empire Day with Whitsuntide might remind us of the great yearly gathering of King Arthur’s Knighthood in Camelot at the same Feast Pentecost – when the achievement of the Knights in the past year were recounted, and fresh inspiration was gathered for renewed effort and adventure. In the same way our Empire in this time of warfare and stress brings its achievements and its failures before our Ascended King, and seeks afresh the Light and Strength that Whitsuntide bestows. We must remember that the well-being; of the Empire depends on the right-doing and faithfulness of all and each of its members. We as a School are helping to make or mar it; and the School is what its individual girls are. So Empire Day means much for every one of us.