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ARMY CHAPLAIN'S WORK

Some notion of the work of an army chaplain at the front is conveyed by the following letter, which was published in 'The Times':

".About 10 days ago we, were.camped in a field which the Germans shelled all day. About 200 801b high explosive sholls fell all around us, and did no damage. We hid the horses in a wood, and the wounded men in a cave. We moved to two other positions, and shells fell all around us, as wo had three batteries of guns near us, but they did no damage, though one shook the house we were, billeted in. We are now quite out of danger. I can go anywhere I like. Igo to see the wounded when being brought back from the front, and to see if I am needed when gunners have been shelled. If necessary, lam .ready to go to tho firing line, but I should.only be in the way in tho daytime. I sec the sick who come in daily and are sent off by the ambulances to a' hospital down country. My first two Sundays I had no services. My third Sunday I had one in a farmyard, lasting 20 minutes, and we had to march almost directly after. My fourth Sunday I crossed a river into the danger zone, and held a -service (without a surplice) for two companies, who were sleeping in bivouacs of straw in a wood in inches of water, surrounded by pools of mud up to Ift deep! I then went on to another wood to some more troops, and began a service, but a deluge stopped, it. and I had to cancel a third owing to rain. We generally fight or march on Sundays. Yesterday (as we were billeted in a village) I administered the Holy Communion at 8.30 a.m. in the garden "of a chateau owned by a French baron, as we could.not have the use of the Roman Catholic church. The baron provided the wine and the tabic, and 25 officers and two non-commissioned officers attended, besides men. Then a parade service of about 2,000, lasting 25 minutes, while guns were booming not far off; then another of about a thousand. Then a 50-niinttte evening service in the baron's garden (about 103 present), followed by the Holy Communion in the dark with two candles. Tiierc were 21 officers and 28 non-commissioned officers and men present at the Holy Communion. Jt was my first chance of a real Sunday's services."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141204.2.14

Bibliographic details

ARMY CHAPLAIN'S WORK, Evening Star, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914

Word Count
418

ARMY CHAPLAIN'S WORK Evening Star, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914

Working