Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 13 November 1920
The Empire Mourns
Impressive Scenes at Funeral of Unknown Warrior
The Great Silence
Observances In The District
For two minutes yesterday the nation stood in silence, and in an impressive hush on the second anniversary of the signing of the Armistice paid its tribute to those who died in the great war.
And in Westminster Abbey an unknown warrior was laid to rest. Thus did the living pay tribute to the glorious dead, and mourning thus for one nameless hero, mourned for thousands more who have unlettered graves. The body was ushered from France on Wednesday by the Navy, and yesterday was met at Victoria Station by the greatest soldiers and sailors, who acted as pall bearers for their unknown comrade.
Earl Haig, Admiral Beatty. Lord French, Sir Hedworth Meux, Sir Hugh Trenchard, Lord Bing, Lord Horne. And the rest, all were there, and took their place by the side of the coffin, which was covered by a tattered Union Jack, and bore on its breast the old Crusader’s sword presented by the King.
To the sombre music of the “March Funebre,” the procession moved away towards the last resting place of the soldier, and from all sides of the crowded streets met evidence of the nations pining Grief.
Every branch of the fighting forces was represented in the cortege, which was brought to an end by representatives of the ex-servicemen’s organisations. A halt was made at this Cenotaph, which the King unveiled at 11 a.m., exact time of the signing of the Armistice, and to meet hush fell upon the Empire. Then the procession passed on to Westminster Abbey.
In the Abbey those privileged to be present at the memorial service were selected the families of those whose graves were unmarked, and who had come today to witness what was, perhaps, the funeral of their son, or their brother. At 10 o’clock 100 V.C.’s marched in, without distinction of rank, and took their places at the foot of the grave as a guard of honour.
In this party, we are proud to note, appeared Sergeant Laurence Calvert, V.C. of Conisborough.
After the hymns, the clergy and choir, singing “Brief life is here our portion,” moved to the door to meet the coffin of the unknown warrior. Then follow the committal service, during which soil from France was used, the service concluding with Kipling’s “recessional,”, the blessing and the sounding of the “Reveille.”
Thus did the Empire mourn.
The two-minute silence was observed in the Parish Church, Mexborough, on Thursday morning, and was followed by Holy Communion. The vicar (the Reverend he hopes) was a celebrant, and he was assisted by the Reverend T.B. Powell. During the service the Vicar read out the names of those men from the parish who made the supreme sacrifice.
St Margaret’s Church Swinton was very well filled on Sunday afternoon Martin, when a very impressive service was held. The preacher was the Reverend Keble Martin, Vicar of Wath, who served as an Army Chaplain. The Scouts attended in full force under the command of scoutmaster W Barlow. The Vicar, the Reverend C Steele conducted the service. An augmented choir sang the anthem “God shall wipe away all tears.” The organist was Mr John Coates. The Scouts bugler Patrol Leader E Taylor, sounded the “Last Post,” and afterwards Mr Coates played Chopin’s funeral March
The Roman Catholic Church at Denaby Main was on Sunday morning crowded for a special service in memory of the fallen. The Reverend T.V. Kavanagh officiated at Mass, and the Reverend C. Leteux preached an eloquent and moving sermon. The Denaby “Comrades” paraded for service, and were headed by the Mexborough Military Band, conducted by Mr H.H. Bird. The singing of the choir was a noteworthy feature of a very impressive service. During the service the band played Chopin’s Funeral March.
At most of the Established Churches in the country a special form of service, prepared by the Archbishop’s, “in commemoration and thanksgiving,” was adopted, and the offertories were devoted to the Service Ordination Candidates Fund. Under an army scheme, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Church of England, over 2000 ex-servicemen are being trained for the Church of England ministry.
A memorial service was held at the Darfield Parish Church on Sunday afternoon, the ancient building being crowded. The service was conducted by Reverend H Langley, who also preached the sermon, speaking with great eloquence and feeling of the sacrifice which had been made for this country by its heroes. The service was most impressive, and deep feeling was evinced. There was very hearty congregational singing, especially in the processional hymn, “Onwards Christian Soldiers.” The Choir Sang Stainer’s Anthem, “What Are These?”
The period of solemn silence was duly observed at all the schools in Mexborough, and in most cases before and after this period of prayer hymns were sung. Addresses to the senior children on the significance of the silent prayer, and to the juniors on the meaning of the word “Armistice,” were delivered at every school.
At the Secondary School all the pupils assembled in the all, where the hymn, “God of our fathers,” was sung. The flag was flown at half-mast at the Garden Street Junior School, and the children sang the hymn, “oh God our help in ages past.” At the Adwick Road schools senior children were assembled in the hall, and at the Garden Street Senior School the children were lined up in the playground. At this Central Boys School the scholars assembled in the playground and the Union Jack was flown at half-mast while the passing of the two minutes was observed with fitting solemnity.
In the girls and infants department is a similar ceremony took place, and in both instances the Union Jack was re-hoisted at the end of the period. The National Anthem and the hymns, “Land of our birth,” “God of our fathers,” and “God bless our native land” were sung.
The members of the Swinton ex-servicemen’s Club held a supper in the Club Room, last night. A good concert followed.
At Denaby and Conisborough the ex-serviceman observe the anniversary. In the morning the Cenotaph in front of the Comrades Club at Denaby was refreshed. The base was covered with floral tributes, placed there by the relatives of the men who had fallen, and by scholars of the Rossington Street Schools. At 11 o’clock there was an impressive hush in the Club, all the men standing at attention while the club flag was flown at half-mast.
Yesterday afternoon, by range with the Denaby comrades in the colours with D.S.a stop Federation, a football match between teams from the two clubs was played in the Denaby United ground. The forces were devoted to the Widows and Orphans Christmas Treat Fund. The match was greatly enjoyed, and Denaby won 2-0. During the first two minutes Haggar Arnold in the penalty area, and J home for Scotland’s pocket. Smith placed a free kick in the goalmouth and J Humphreys headed the other Goal.
At 10 o’clock last night, there was a torchlight procession, headed by the Swinton Troop of Boy Scouts come with their Bugle band. The procession, composed of ex-servicemen of both clubs, paraded the streets, winding up their tour with a gathering in the Conisborough Castle Grounds, where fireworks et cetera discharged. All the arrangements are in the hands of the Denaby Combos Committee, of which Mr T Oxley is secretary.
And in Memorial from You Tube: