Conisboro’ Drum-Head Service – Lessons from Past – Vicar’s Eloquent Address.

October 1920

Mexborough Sunni Times October 2, 1920

Lessons from The Past.

Denaby Vicar’s Eloquent Address.

Conisboro’ Drum-Head Service.

Conisboro’ and Denaby ex-servicemen, members of the National Federation and the Comrades of the Great War, united in a drum-head service, held in the Castle grounds, Conisboro’ on Sunday, in memory their fallen comrades.

Mr. J. Humble. of Crookhill Hall presided and a short and impressive service was conducted by the Rev. H. Lee, Vicar of Denaby.

Mr Humble made a warm appeal for funds, in order that a Christmas treat might be given to the children and other dependents of the fallen.

In the course of an eloquent address, the Rev. H. Lee said:

The Castle and the Church.

We are gathered together this afternoon in the grounds of an ancient castle, which was built by the men of this nation many hundreds of years ago. A little higher up the hill we come to the ancient church of this which was also built by the men of this nation many centuries: ago. These structures may be a parable to us, to teach us something about one of the abiding truths of life. Conisboro’ Castle was built that it might be a defence to the people of that early century who lived around it. But as the centuries have passed by, its uses have passed away, for every man of this nation earned to live without warring one against the other; so what was used, at one time, to be a place of war, is used as a place for pleasure and for dry. Not so with the Parish Church; the uses of that have not changed. It was built, in the first place, as a house of prayer, where men might go and hear the laws of God for mankind preached; and it is still the same to-day. It still serves the same purpose for which it was built. That teacher us that though the conditions of life may change, that though he habits of men may change, still the requirements of God’s laws are the same for every day, no matter when we live.

The Eternal Duties.

If you go down into the valley where the Don flows you see an example, an expression of life as it is lived in this 20th century. There is the Cadeby pit, where men go down into the bowels of the earth to win coal for our comfort and support and prosperity, yet he would be a bold man who would say that amidst all the pressing problems that face us in the industrial situation as we have it to-day, that industrial peace will come to this nation even though God’s laws are disregarded. The teaching of the centuries is this: that God’s laws are abiding laws, and that only when they are applied with sincerity to the life of a nation will that nation well find peace and prosperity. It comes to this, then, that what we learned as children is still true—that we have two duties: “My duty towards my God, and my duty towards my neighbour.”

A Glorious Heritage.

We are here to-day to salute the memory of those who for the cause of right and for their fellow men laid down the best they had to give; they laid down their lives. Their memory is a glorious one. We thank God for them, and we pray that we may be worthy of them. Is the name of England still honoured and respected among other nations? Are we, the men of England today, going to be worthy heirs of our inheritance? Surely, God forbid that anything else should happen to us than that. And if we are to be worthy in the best sense we must hear the call that is ringing in our ears clearer and clearer as the years go by, and mankind—each man—must learn to do his work and his duty, and the only way he can do his work and his duty is by learning the laws and commandments of his God. Thus will he have strength of body and of spirit to be a worthy member of this great and glorious country. (Applause.)

Ex-Servicemen’s Meeting.

Mr. J. Petty, the Yorkshire organiser of the National Federation, made an urgent appeal for the children of dependents of the who had fallen. The ex-servicemen, he said, were not doing their duty in this matter, and until they did they could not expect that response they wished for from the general public. He knew the men had their grievances, that the promises of the politicians, made in their vote catching moments, had been dishonoured, but their grievances were nothing to compare with those of the widows and little ones who were left behind. The only way the ex-servicemen could do their duty was by joining an ex -servicemen’s association, and he was glad to say that in a month or so their path be made clearer by the amalgamation four great organisations that at present existed. He hoped they would all join in the united association. There were many wrongs to be righted, and it was they, and they alone, could make this country a land fit for heroes to live in. (Applause.)

The Rev. C. Leteux, Catholic Priest, of Denaby Main, spoke of the greatest of all sacrifices made by the widows and orphans in allowing their husbands and fathers to go to the war. He referred specially to the deeds of heroism by the men who fought, and said it would be a work of supererogation to appeal to the charity of the public for the women and children who made such deeds of heroism possible.

Mr. W. Appleyard addressed an appeal to the general public, and addresses were also given by Messrs. 8. C. Urch and H. Halley. The “Last Post” was sounded at the close of the service.

Prior to the service the ex-servicemen of the district paraded the town under the command of Mr. W. Appleyard, and the St. John Ambulance Brigade and the Nursing Sisters also joined in the procession.